Torrential rain strikes flood-bound Britain

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The Independent Online

Dorchester this morning became the latest town to be struck by flooding as 400 homes were evacuated after the River Frome burst its banks.

Dorchester this morning became the latest town to be struck by flooding as 400 homes were evacuated after the River Frome burst its banks.

Torrential rain and gales are sweeping across the country and areas still recovering from last week's deluge are preparing to be swamped once again.

The Environment Agency has issued 12 severe flood warnings on eight rivers across England and Wales.

More flooding is expected across the country as a band of heavy rain coming in from the Atlantic spread from the west to hit the whole of England and Wales, the Agency said.

There was likely to be 35-40mm in 24 hours in most areas, it added.

Heavy rain fell overnight on battered York and Selby, but no flooding was reported and the Agency said it would be up to 24 hours before the downpour had an impact.

The River Uck burst its banks in Uckfield, East Sussex, but police said water levels had stabilised with only a handful of homes flooded.

A police spokesman said no-one had been evacuated from their homes and the condition was not expected to worsen.

The Environment Agency said river levels across the country were rising swiftly due to the heavy rain. New severe flood warnings have been issued in the Midlands and South East.

Flood banks were breached overnight at Gowdall on the River Aire but they have now been repaired and will be inspected by engineers at first light.

At Snaith, also on the River Aire, police and Environment Agency staff have been giving special loudhailer warnings to residents about the possibility of flood banks being breached.

River levels are rising in Yorkshire but the situation in York has improved.

Up to 30mm of rain fell in Yorkshire yesterday and water levels are expected to rise throughout today and into tomorrow.

The River Derwent and the River Ouse are expected to continue rising into Thursday.

The following severe flood warnings are now in force:


River Severn - Worcester, through to Gloucester River Churnet - Leek to Rocester, Staffs River Dove - Rocester to Uttoxeter, Staffs
River Ouse - Naburn and Acaster Malbis River Ouse (lower) - Barlby to Selby River Aire - Gowdall River Derwent - Lower Derwent from Elvington to Barmby River Derwent - Malton and Norton
The Lower Dee - Llangollen to Cheter (including Bangor on Dee)
River Frome - Dorchester, Dorset Western Rother - Liss to Middlehurst, East Sussex River Uck - Uckfield, East Sussex River Cuckmere - Hellingly, East Sussex Scrasebridge Stream (upper catchment of the River Ouse) - Lindfield and Haywards Heath, East Sussex River Rother - Mayfield to Newenden, East Sussex/Kent borders River Teise and Lesser Teise - Lamberhurst to Yalding, Kent River Beult - Pluckley to Betherseden, Kent