Strong winds replaced by heavy rain

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The Independent Online

The weekend will continue to be a washout for much of the country, with heavy rain likely to follow the gale-force storms which have ripped across many areas.

Forecasters at the Met Office say today will be calmer, but with heavy showers in Wales and much of southern and western England and scattered showers elsewhere.

Saturday saw winds of 70mph, with gusts reaching a top speed of 100mph in outlying areas, driving rain and lightning strikes in southern regions.

Sixty homes were damaged when a tornado swept through Benfleet, Essex, and there were reports of a second in Lowestoft in Suffolk.

Tidal flooding was not as serious as had been feared but the Environment Agency estimated that 50 properties had been flooded by rising surface water.

And Daniel Adamson, a forecaster with MeteoGroup UK, said further stormy weather is on its way.

"It's going to turn very windy again as we move into Monday, with the rain pushing northwards," he said.

A spokeswoman for The Environment Agency said: "We are continuing to work closely with the Met Office and the emergency services, we are closely monitoring rivers and sea levels and our officers are out on the ground checking flood defences and clearing trash screens.