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Ed Gallagher, Environment Agency Chief Executive
"We seem to be in a well established pattern now of bad weather"
 real 56k

The BBC's Steve Kingstone
"Rivers keep on rising"
 real 56k

Tuesday, 31 October, 2000, 12:09 GMT
Flood alert as wind drops
Heavy seas at Dover
Heavy seas closed Dover port for 16 hours
A massive clear up operation is under way as southern Britain recovers from the worst weather in a decade.

But in many areas there is still a serious threat of flooding as river levels continue to rise.

The Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, will give a statement in Parliament later on Tuesday on the impact of the storm.

Travel disruption
Emergency timetables still in place because of Hatfield
Leaves on the line disrupting to Connex services
First Great Western trains and Scotrail running to reduced timetable
Eurostar is back to normal
M11 between junctions 4 and 5 has reopened
A3 closed southbound in Surrey
Services in and out of Dover port reduced
Shipping conditions are still poor - an Italian tanker sank in the Channel near Alderney on Tuesday, prompting fears that its cargo of chemicals could cause an environmental disaster.

Twenty-four hours of gales, torrential rain and heavy flooding left a trail of destruction and at least six dead.

The aftermath left thousands of commuters facing more problems on Tuesday.

Ninety percent of rail services were running, but most on emergency timetables - partly a consequence of engineering work in the wake of the Hatfield crash.

And motorists faced numerous delays, although most major routes were operating normally.

Severe flood warnings remain in place on more than 20 rivers in southern England, East Anglia, Wales and the North West.

Geoff Mance, of the Environment Agency, told the BBC: "The flooding is not over. The big rivers are still rising, and we have heavy rain forecast for Wednesday evening."

Yalding, Kent
Yalding in Kent is completely underwater
Hundreds of houses were evacuated on Monday night and fallen trees have caused damage to power lines and cut rail routes.

At one stage more than 100,000 people were without power, most will be reconnected on Tuesday. Engineers were flown in from Scotland to help restore power to southern England.

At the height of the storms some places experienced gusts of up to 100mph and two inches of rainfall in 24 hours.


Roads in Manchester, Cumbria, County Durham and Lancashire were closed by heavy snow, which also hit parts of Scotland and Yorkshire.

Two people were injured when a tornado hit Selsey, in West Sussex, early on Monday - less than 48 hours after similar freak wind conditions caused devastation a few miles along the coast at Bognor Regis.

A 28-year-old man has been reported missing following an accident in a swollen tributary of the river Nene in Northampton.

The search has resumed for a suspected shoplifter who fell into the swollen River Thame, in Birmingham, after being chased by security staff.

Stormy seas

A Dutch skipper died after falling into the hold of his vessel as it was tossed on stormy seas off the south coast of Devon.

The high winds were blamed for the death of a lorry driver after a van was blown into the path of his vehicle at Kirkby la Thorpe, in Lincolnshire.

Workmen clear fallen tree n the Hampstead area of Birmingham
A fallen tree crashed into this house in the Hampstead area of Birmingham
Earlier a fallen tree claimed the life of motorcyclist Gary Phillips, 44, at Taunton, in Somerset.

A car driver died in south London when he skidded and crashed into other vehicles. Another motorist was killed in Surrey on Sunday when a tree fell on to the A3, at Hindhead.

The storms claimed the lives of four people in France and another woman was killed by a falling tree in Ireland.

About 650 staff at the Magnox nuclear power station, at Berkeley, Gloucestershire, had to be rescued after they were trapped by flooding.

Blair's praise

A spokesman for the company said there was no danger of floodwater reaching the nuclear reactor.

The Prime Minister, Tony Blair, telephoned police, fire and Environment Agency chiefs to receive up-dates on the situation and thank them for their "excellent work", his official spokesman said.

Yalding, Kent
The floods haven't stopped everyone
High winds closed the port of Dover for 16 hours, stranding thousands of passengers mid-Channel.

Airport delays meant even those hoping to escape the severe weather were affected.

BBC forecasters say the gales were of a similar ferocity to the storms that ravaged Britain in 1987. And they fear there could be more bad weather on Wednesday night as another low pressure system hits.

The cost could prove just as high, although a spokesman for the Association of British Insurers said it would be some time before the full cost could be calculated.

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See also:

31 Oct 00 | Europe
Chemical fears after tanker sinks
31 Oct 00 | UK
Storm chaos at a glance
31 Oct 00 | UK
More delays for travellers
31 Oct 00 | Europe
Eight dead in European storms
30 Oct 00 | Business
Insurers face 200m storm damage bill
30 Oct 00 | UK
Storm damage in pictures
30 Oct 00 | UK
Rail network paralysed
30 Oct 00 | UK Politics
Storms prompt 'keep fuel tax' call
30 Oct 00 | UK
Two injured in tornado
30 Oct 00 | UK
You think this is bad?
30 Oct 00 | Scotland
Passengers face day of misery
30 Oct 00 | Wales
Wales begins mopping up
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