‘Winter of floods’ alert as Britain braces for heavy rain

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The alert follows a weekend of heavy rain that brought travel chaos and flood alerts – with more expected this week. Heavy downfalls left roads underwater – with as much as 1.1 inches of rain falling in some areas. Extraordinary pictures show huge torrents running through streets across Britain.

But the downpours failed to put a dampener on Guy Fawkes night, with thousands up and down the country braving conditions to attend bonfire celebrations on Saturday.

Yesterday, yellow weather warnings were rolled out by the Met Office for much of the South of England.

It warned that continuous, heavy rain could lead to flooding of homes and businesses and affect public transport in an area stretching from Chichester, West Sussex, to Canterbury, Kent.

Forecasters said today was set to be cloudy with spells of rain mainly in the West, while remaining brighter in the East.

Heavy, squally rain is predicted to return overnight, making way for sunny spells and showers which ease on Wednesday. More rain is expected in north-western areas on Thursday when it is expected to be windy.

And it looks like this wet, miserable weather is here to stay.

Will Laing from the Met Office said: “Although we expect to see high pressure dominating through much of the early winter, which increases the potential for cold spells, we could still see wet and windy weather at times.

“The risk of unsettled weather increases as we head into 2023, with wet, windy and mild spells a real possibility.” The Environment Agency is now urging communities to prepare for unexpected flooding “at any time”.

This week is Flood Action Week, and Caroline Douglass, executive director of flooding at the agency, said: “Climate change is happening now. We’re seeing more extreme weather. The message is clear – households risk ignoring the danger of flooding at their own peril.

“Anyone can go online to check if they are at risk, sign up for EA warnings and, most importantly, know what you need to do if flooding hits.”

Hannah Cloke, Professor of hydrology at University of Reading, said: “Flooding threatens millions of homes and buildings across the UK, and it is exceptionally worrying that two-thirds of the people most at risk don’t believe it will happen to them.”

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