UK faces floods and gale-force winds as wet weather forecast to continue all week


Heavy rain and strong winds continued to lash England and Wales yesterday, bringing gusts of up to 60mph and flooding to agricultural land. As fierce storms pounded South-west and South-east England and the Midlands, the Environment Agency issued 17 flood warnings, and expressed particular concern about the rising levels of the river Severn.

An incident room has been set up in Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, which sits at the confluence of the Severn and the Avon and was one of the worst-affected towns in the floods of July 2007. Environment Agency spokeswoman Laura Gottelier said there had been localised flooding of agricultural land and roads, but properties appeared to have been spared. "It seems to be easing, but we're not stepping back any of our operations just yet," she said yesterday afternoon.

The Met Office is predicting further heavy rainfalls in South-west England in the first half of Monday, and in southern areas of England and Wales on Tuesday.

Yet the wettest week since December has failed to bring an end to drought conditions.