UK weather: More floods and storms forecast - with thousands already hit by power cuts

13,000 properties are still cut off from power

One thousand people were evacuated from their homes in southern England as flooding hit yesterday, with the Environment Agency warning the situation could get worse across parts of the UK and winds of up to 90mph forecast.

Eleven people also had to be evacuated from properties in Wey Meadow area of Weybridge in Surrey this morning.

The Met Office has issued yellow and amber weather warnings, indicating "severe or hazardous weather" with potential to "cause danger to life or widespread disruption".

The worst-affected areas are expected to be northern England and northern parts of Wales.

John Griffiths, a forecaster for MeteoGroup UK, said: "There will be some very, very strong winds and blustery showers in places tomorrow.

"The winds will start to pick up this afternoon and evening. Tomorrow around 6am there will be some strong gusts of wind going up to 90mph."

Helen Roberts, a forecaster from the Met Office, said: "The storm will push in from the west overnight, bringing wet and windy weather to much of the UK.

"There will be very strong gales inland at times and severe gales on the western coast."

People in the south east and south west of England were worst hit when heavy rain and floods forced hundreds to evacuate properties by boat as rivers burst their banks. 13,000 properties are still cut off from power and could face waiting to a week to have it restored.

The Energy Networks Association said engineers were experiencing problems working in heavily flooded parts such as Kent, Sussex and Surrey.

Spokesman Tim Field said the BBC: "The nature of the work the engineers are having to do, the severity of the damage caused by the storm, also some very challenging conditions such as flooded roads and roads blocked by debris has made repairs much more difficult."

 The Environment Agency has 84 severe flood warnings in place and 165 flood alert warnings across the UK. Two severe flood warnings remain on the Stour in Dorset.

Continuing power cuts also left thousands unable to cook or heat their homes, with energy distributors offering to pay for food and accommodation in local pubs, restaurants and hotels.

In addition to the floods, strong winds left roads blocked with trees and debris, making travel difficult - not least for engineers attempting to reconnect power to the thousands of homes cut off.

There were also delays and cancellations at railways and airports, leaving thousands of passengers stranded. Tim Field, of the Energy Networks Association, said about 50,000 homes were without power on Christmas Day, but expected the majority to be back online on Boxing Day. "We are making arrangements with local authorities, charities and businesses to host and feed those without power. We are also making calls to the elderly and vulnerable to see if they need help," he said.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said it had cut the number of severe weather warnings from three to two, both in South-West England, but warned that "it would take time for the water to pass through the system".

Late on Christmas Eve, 76 residents of the Little Venice Caravan and Marina Park at Yalding, Kent, were evacuated by boat and 4x4 vehicles by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and Kent Fire and Rescue as water levels on the River Medway reached "chest height" and caravans lifted. An MCA manager, Aimee Rampton, said: "We were operating under force majeure to help the residents of Little Venice as our normal area of operation is along our coasts and shorelines. The people at the caravan site needed help and the flood waters were rising rapidly, so our specially trained water rescue teams swung into action."

A further 90 people were evacuated from their homes on the River Stour near Bournemouth early on Christmas Day. Police began to evacuate residents of the Ilford Bridge Home Park at 3am following a severe flood warning.

One resident Pat Tapply, 79, said: "I would just like to know how bad it is. All the presents are by my fireplace, I don't know what they are but I hope they are still there when I can come back."

People were also evacuated at Beaulieu Garden Park Home in Christchurch, Dorset.

The  Environment Agency has 126 flood warnings in place across England and Wales on Boxing Day morning, mainly in South-East England, the South-west and the Midlands. A further 218 flood alerts remain in place, with 90 in the South-East. The agency said that by Wednesday evening 150 properties had been flooded in England, mainly in the south. Families had to be evacuated from homes in Dorking, Leatherhead and Guildford in Surrey, and 40 properties were evacuated in Godalming because of concerns over the height of the River Wey. A rest centre was set up for evacuees.

Emergency services operate in Yalding Emergency services operate in Yalding (Getty)  

More evacuations were ordered in Tonbridge, Kent, where 100 people had to abandon their plans for Christmas lunch at a pub after it was flooded. Staff at Wetherspoons said they had tried to relocate diners at alternative premises where possible.

About 800 homes in the north of Scotland were still without power last night, mainly around the Banchory, Buchan and Aboyne areas in Aberdeenshire, and Forres and Fochabers in Elgin.

Travellers trying to get home on Christmas Eve fought treacherous conditions on the roads and suffered major delays as the rail network was crippled.

A power cut at Gatwick Airport's North Terminal led to cancellations and delays for thousands of passengers who were left stranded until yesterday, when the majority of flights resumed.

Forecast: more misery ahead

People have been advised to make the most of Boxing Day because storms and heavy rain could bring a return of Christmas Eve’s travel problems by the end of the week.

Thursday is expected to be cold but dry and sunny for most of the country, with a chance of snow in parts of Scotland and the odd light shower elsewhere.

However, the wind is expected to pick up from the west overnight, bringing squally rain down on already saturated ground.

Emma Compton, a forecaster at the Met Office, said: “We are expecting gales around coastal areas, particularly in the west and higher ground, of around 60mph. There is also much more rain to come on Friday and a risk of flooding. We could see between 10 and 20mm of rain fall, and may even get up to 30mm which could again cause some disruption.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Buyer / Planner

£20000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity has ar...

Recruitment Genius: Marketing Manager

£40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity working ...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Journals Manager

£33000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The prime focus of the role is to assist...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Bristol

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: SThree Trainee Recruitment C...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks