Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flood Misery to Worsen as Further Rain Blows In

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Flood Misery to Worsen as Further Rain Blows In

Article excerpt

Byline: David Lucas

MORE parts of the UK could face flood misery after forecasters warned of torrential downpours to come.

Severe weather alerts have been put in place for South East England, the South West, and Wales.

Some parts in the regions were expecting between 30mm (1.2in) and 40mm (1.6in) of rainfall overnight, with some areas of Somerset and Dorset being hit by up to 20mm (0.8in) of rain in just two to three hours, the Met Office said.

The news comes as Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said that the Government would provide PS130m for emergency repairs and maintenance.

Mr Pickles - standing in for Environment Secretary Owen Paterson, who was undergoing emergency eye surgery on his retina - told the Commons that the severe weather had caused damage to the transport network and sea defences as well as power lines.

Homes in flood-hit areas have been evacuated and gusts of winds and storms have destroyed a stretch of railway track in Dawlish, Devon.

Much of Britain has been battered by heavy rain and gale force winds this winter, and the relentless adverse weather shows no sign of abating.

Hundreds of flood alerts have been issued, including two severe warnings, signifying a danger to life.

The Met Office said that it has been the wettest December and January combined for more than 100 years.

Across the UK, rain fell on 23 out of the 31 days in January. There was 183.8mm (7.2in) of rainfall in January - 51% higher than the average. Between mid-December and the end of January, southern England was deluged with over five months' worth of rainfall, figures show. And there is no reprieve in sight, with forecasters predicting more rain in coming days.

Met Office spokeswoman Laura Young said yesterday: "There is this deep depression that is going to bring a further 20mm to 40mm of rain tonight to the South West, the South East coast and South Wales. …

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