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The BBC's Robert Hall
"Weary householders are preparing for another futile battle"
 real 56k

Saturday, 10 February, 2001, 04:51 GMT
Rain threatens more flood misery
Flooding in Patrixbourne, Kent
It is the fifth flood this winter for some householders
Many householders across England are bracing themselves for floods this weekend as forecasters predict yet more rain.

On Friday, the Environment Agency issued two severe flood warnings in Kent and Sussex and 67 flood warnings, the majority in southern England, East Anglia and the north east.

In Yorkshire, areas close to the River Ouse which were badly flooded late last year have been inundated again.

Yalding in Kent
The village of Yalding in Kent is again under water
Forecasters warned that further downpours in southern England over the weekend could cause rivers to burst their banks, while heavy snow in Scotland is expected to result in floods as a thaw sets in.

In Kent, water has been pouring into basements and cellars of homes in the village of Yalding, which has been flooded seven times this winter.

Some of those worst affected in West Yorkshire will be visited by Prince Charles on Monday.

The bad weather was a blow to the families who had still not returned to their flood-damaged homes since the last deluge, said Ray Kemp from the Environment Agency.

"It's very sad that they're just getting their houses dried out and the rains come and unfortunately they're back to the beginning."

'Heartbreaking' damage

Yalding is particularly affected because it is at the confluence of three rivers; the Beult, the Teise, and the Medway.

Yalding village postmistress Margaret Reavill said those on the river front had not been able to live in their homes since the first and most severe flood on 12 October.

"I feel sorry for the people living near the river. It must be heartbreaking."

The Ship Inn near York
Parts of Yorkshire are also flooded
Mother-of-two Lisa Cleggett, 33, who lives in Yalding's Lyng Close, spent seven weeks in a hotel when her family was evacuated in October.

"The repairs to the house are now three quarters completed - and it could be flooded again. It's a nightmare really, it's a real struggle to keep going."

But, she said: "It would be a shame to let the water push us out of our homes."

Friday's noon high tide did not bring higher waters as feared, but villages are bracing themselves for the weekend when heavy rain is forecast for Saturday night and Sunday.

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See also:

31 Jan 01 | UK Politics
Call for flood 'czar' to speed defences
15 Dec 00 | UK
New flood danger looms
14 Dec 00 | Education
Floods go on the syllabus
08 Dec 00 | UK
Two die as floods return
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