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Last Updated: Sunday, 1 July 2007, 15:02 GMT 16:02 UK
Flood fears ease as rivers fall
Flooding in Toll Bar, near Doncaster
The village of Toll Bar near Doncaster remains badly affected
Fears of further flooding across the UK are easing with river levels starting to fall, the Environment Agency says.

A spokesman said the situation was "improving" but people needed to remain vigilant, with more rainfall predicted over the next few days.

Forecasters said up to 20mm (0.8in) of rain could fall in parts of England and Wales, with possible localised floods.

The Met Office issued severe weather warnings of heavy rain for the whole of England and Wales until Tuesday.

Four people died during the flooding earlier in the week - two in Sheffield, including a teenage boy, a man in Hull and a driver in Worcestershire - and a body was found in the River Severn on Sunday.

The body, believed to be that of an elderly woman and thought to have been in the water for a number of days, was found in Jackfield near Ironbridge, Telford.

A post-mortem examination will be carried out on Monday to determine the cause of death.

Rivers stabilised

The Environment Agency spokesman said about 20mm of rain fell overnight across England and Wales.

"Fortunately it was quite steady in areas of concern like Lincolnshire and Yorkshire and no problems were reported," he said.

It's generally a better picture than it was six days ago
Environment Agency spokesman

"Rivers have responded slightly in the South West and Wales but we didn't have any flooding concerns, which is very good news.

He added: "Today there could be isolated heavy downpours which could have rain totals over 20mm but it is very difficult to tell where they're going to be.

"River levels have stabilised and have come down. The situation is improving but we are reminding people to be vigilant.

"Obviously the ground was soaked and if an area experiences heavy rainfall rivers react very quickly. It's generally a better picture than it was six days ago."

Heavy showers

The agency reported that the general situation had eased overnight.

It said the heaviest rains had fallen outside the flooded areas over the last few days and the situation across the Midlands had greatly improved with river levels starting to fall.

There are four severe flood warnings in place - three on the River Don and one on Ea Beck - and 21 standard flood warnings.

The Met Office said heavy showers are expected during Sunday and Monday, with the possibility of more prolonged rain during Tuesday.

BBC weather forecaster Penny Tranter said: "Overnight rain has moved away and we're left with some fairly swift-moving heavy showers across England and Wales.

"In terms of heavy rain, it will not be as bad as it has been. There's a risk of localised flooding."

Up to 25mm (1in) of rain fell on Saturday.

Flood centre

Rest centres have been made ready and at-risk areas have been sand-bagged. Residents in some areas have been urged to pack emergency bags in case of evacuation.

A national flood support centre, led by Hereford and Worcester fire service chief fire officer Paul Hayden, has been set up in Worcestershire to respond to any flooding over the weekend.

Lincolnshire Police said an emergency control centre in Lincoln will continue to operate into Monday to monitor the potential for further flooding in the county.

The worst-hit areas are at Bentley and Toll Bar near Doncaster, where giant pumps are being used to carry water from the deluged village via hosepipe to the River Don two miles away.

Water from the floods are starting to recede


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