Radio Sandwell News

New flood fear as more rain forecast

2013-12-26 09:42:46

Yalding in Kent was among the worst-affected areas

The Environment Agency is warning of further significant disruption from flooding in parts of southern England, with more heavy rainfall forecast.

Many rivers remain swollen after storms which led to power cuts and travel delays, and two severe flood warnings are in place on the Stour in Dorset.

About 1,000 homes in south-east and south-west England have been flooded.

Some 24,000 properties still have no power and engineers say some may not be reconnected until the end of the week.

The Energy Networks Association said late on Christmas Day problems remained for engineers working in heavily flooded parts of Kent, Sussex and Surrey.

The Met Office, meanwhile, is warning of another storm coming in from the Atlantic and expected to hit the UK on Thursday night into Friday.

It could bring an inch (2.5cm) of rain and gusts of up to 70 mph and is predicted to affect all parts of the UK except for the East Midlands and East Anglia.

BBC Weather said there was the potential for disruption, especially where ground is already saturated and in those areas where high winds are combined with heavy rainfall.

The Environment Agency also has nearly 100 flood warnings in place - signifying that flooding is "expected". It is warning of disruption on the River Medway in Kent, particularly around Aylesford and Millhall.

The Coastguard rescued 76 people from a flooded caravan park in Yalding, Kent, on Christmas Eve

The two severe flood warnings - meaning there is a danger to life - are in place for the Beaulieu Garden Park Home Site and the Iford Bridge Home Park and on the River Stour in Dorset, where evacuations of residents took place on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Authority says it may investigate Gatwick Airport, over the disruption to Christmas Eve flights.

Thousands had their travel plans ruined, after an electricity substation flooded. The airport has apologised, and says it is now operating a full schedule.

In Scotland, power has now been restored to all homes cut off after the gale force winds on Christmas Eve. At the height of the storm, 3,500 homes lost their electricity.

Scotland's First Minister Alex Salmond has praised people who worked over Christmas to restore power.

Engineers, ferry staff, and emergency services acted "selflessly" so others could have a happy Christmas, he said.

The number of flood warnings in Wales is falling, with four currently in place.

A spokesman for Natural Resources Wales said: "River levels in Wales are dropping following the prolonged periods of heavy rainfall that led to surface water flooding earlier this week.

"With further rain predicted for Friday, officers from Natural Resources Wales will be monitoring forecasts closely."

Iford Bridge Home Park in Dorset was evacuated

The Environment Agency says it is watching areas of Kent near the Medway. Tovil Road in Maidstone was left submerged

Severe flood warnings are still in place for the River Stour in Dorset, with some areas under water


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