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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 January 2008, 21:03 GMT
Fears of further flooding misery
Aerial shot of Tewkesbury
Tewkesbury was hit by floods for the second time in eight months

Dozens of flood warnings remain in place following several days of heavy rain across much of England and Wales.

The Environment Agency said despite drier weather on Wednesday, the ground in some areas was saturated and there was still a risk of flooding.

It said further downpours were forecast for the rest of the week and urged people to remain vigilant.

Some 72 flood warnings are in place, and defences have been installed in several places affected last summer.

Forecasters expect Northern England, the Midlands and particularly Wales to be the worst hit.

Homes at risk

The Highways Agency has warned motorists to take extra care on the roads and advised anyone planning a long journey to pack food and warm clothes in case they become trapped.

It also advised drivers to move slowly through any standing water and test their brakes once through.

Parts of south-east England and East Anglia were battered by severe gales and heavy rain on Tuesday night.

There was some relief on Wednesday when the sun shone across some regions, allowing river levels to recede in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

But in Oxford 3,000 homes have been put on flood alert.

Move pets, vehicles and valuables to safety
Alert your neighbours, particularly the elderly
Put sandbags in place and plug sinks and baths
Be ready to turn off gas and electricity
Unplug electrical items and move them upstairs
Co-operate with emergency services and local authorities
Do what you can in daylight
Source: Environment Agency

The Environment Agency issued a flood warning for that stretch of the River Thames and says homes on the western side of the city are most at risk late on Wednesday night.

In the village of Burstwick in East Yorkshire, 180 properties are at risk from flooding, but pumps and sandbags had been deployed there to try to keep water levels down.

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said although Wednesday was drier, the problems could continue throughout the week.

He added that a severe flood warning for the River Kym in Cambridgeshire had been downgraded to a standard flood warning.

Flood warnings have been issued along the River Severn between Worcester and Tewkesbury, and from Tewkesbury to upstream of Gloucester.

The threat of flooding in the region is not expected to recede until next week and many homes have already been affected.

Residents on New Street in Upton, Worcestershire, prepare for the floods
Residents in Upton are preparing for the worst

Laurence Robertson, MP for Tewkesbury, said it was wrong people were living "on a knife edge" because of failures by the government.

He said: "There are still hundreds living in caravans and they're nowhere near to moving back home. And yet again they've got water at their door."

In Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire, which was badly affected during the summer floods, the river has burst its banks, but defences have prevented it flooding the town centre.

Leaking roof

Canterbury Cathedral was flooded after heavy rain poured through its lead roof.

Dover port, which was forced to close for a time on Tuesday, has reopened but only at 75% capacity.

In Dorset, a road leading to Bournemouth airport was blocked after a man became stuck in his car in 46cm (1ft 6in) of floodwater.

The River Frome burst its banks on Tuesday night, flooding roads in Bradford Peverell.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said people in areas where warnings are in place should take action against potential flooding of homes and businesses.

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