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Heavy rain brings more flood risks

Thu, 06 Feb 2014

HEAVY RAIN and gale force winds are set to continue to batter large swathes of the south of Britain, leaving many areas at risk of further flooding.

The country will be hit by two new turbulent weather systems that are predicted to bring high winds and rain in their wake.

And there is fresh misery for people living in the Somerset Levels, where two severe flood warnings remain in place signifying a danger to life.

The Environment Agency said the first warning affects the Salt Moor and North Moor while the second is in place on the A361 between east Lyng and Burrowbridge, including the Somerset Levels Basket and craft Centre Area.

Many flood-hit homes on the Somerset levels have already been evacuated, and further rainfall raises the prospect of more residents having to leave their houses.

The Met Office warned that a fresh wave of heavy rain will hit southern England and Wales at around 6am today.

They said up to 1.6ins (40mm) of rain is being predicted to fall in the south coast, where many areas are already drenched from recent storms and floods.

Upland areas including Salisbury Plain, South Downs and North Downs are set to be the worst affected by the downpours, and the Met Office has issued an amber warning in these parts urging locals to "be prepared".

A yellow warning for rain is in place across the rest of southern England and Wales meaning that people living in these areas should "be aware".

Winds of up to 40mph are set to batter the south coast, potentially bringing dangerously high waves and wreaking fresh damage to these storm-hit areas.

And there is little respite from the turbulent weather as, after a brief spell of sunshine tomorrow morning, fresh storms are set to hit.

A weather system developing off the Atlantic will sweep into Britain bringing up to 1.2 ins (30mm) of rain overnight tomorrow and into Saturday.

Severe gale force winds of up to 80mph are expected to hit southern Britain which could topple trees and cause more damage to the beleaguered region.

Met Office forecaster Kirk Waite said: "The real thing with the second system is the strength of the winds.

"Once the initial band of rain comes in you are going to see severe gales that could bring potential issues with a risk of trees falling."

By Kate Ferguson, Press Association