Page last updated at 17:38 GMT, Saturday, 27 February 2010

Warnings as heavy rainfall causes flooding in UK

Strong wind and rain in Manchester
Sunday is likely to see the heaviest rain, forecasters say

Parts of the UK have been hit by floods, with heavy rains and wind forecast to continue over the weekend.

Scotland has had snow, while up to 25mm (1in) of rain is expected in northern England and over 30mm in the south.

Three flood warnings have been issued for the north-east and 59 flood watches across the rest of England.

It comes as police named a woman who died when a Land Rover was swept down a river near Cropton, North Yorks, on Friday as 53-year-old Vanessa Robson.

Police found the vehicle almost totally submerged under a bridge on the North York Moors. It took divers four hours to find her body.

In Scotland two walkers were rescued after being caught in an avalanche.

The men, one of whom had a leg injury, were airlifted from the Cam Ghleann area of Glencoe in a rescue hampered by snowy conditions.

Now is an ideal time for anyone living in an area vulnerable to flooding to think about the steps they can take to protect their properties
Andrew Gilham
Environment Agency

The Environment Agency's flood warnings were in force on part of the River Ouse and the River Derwent in North Yorkshire and the River Nene east of Peterborough.

Flood warnings mean that flooding of homes and businesses is expected.

Less serious flood watches indicate that low-lying land and roads could become flooded.

Winds of 40-50mph are forecast for England on Sunday.

BBC broadcast meteorologist Philip Avery said: "The problem is that the ground is very saturated at the moment so any extra rain is going to probably cause flooding.

"At the moment there are four flood warnings - I would anticipate that will go up quite dramatically in the next 24 hours.

"There will be a fair bit of localised flooding and it would not surprise me if one or two major roads were affected too."

Mr Avery also warned that strong winds coming off the sea may contribute to coastal flooding.

Southern and eastern areas of the UK are expected to bear the brunt, while high spring tides could combine with the rainfall to increase the risk of flooding along the east coast.

Flash floods

Some 50-70mm (2-3in) of rain has already fallen in Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight this week, with sodden ground likely to cause problems.

On Friday there were widespread reports of flash flooding in Yorkshire, with roads near Scarborough submerged.

North Yorkshire Fire Service said there were fewer flooding calls overnight.

The Environment Agency's Andrew Gilham said: "We've had a lot of rain during this week and as a result the ground is now saturated and river levels have risen.

"Now is an ideal time for anyone living in an area vulnerable to flooding to think about the steps they can take to protect their properties.

"By taking simple precautions we can limit the damage a flood can leave behind."



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