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Last Updated: Tuesday January 15 2008 15:48 GMT

Stormy weather sweeps across UK

A mobile flood barrier along the burst banks of the river at Upton-upon-Severn, Worcestershire

As heavy rain and gale force winds batter the UK, weather experts are warning many parts of the UK could soon be hit by flash flooding.

Parts of western England were hit by heavy rain overnight, but the downpours are expected to get worse and more than 60 flood warnings are in place.

Some families are worried there will be a repeat of last year's summer flooding, which damaged many homes.

People in the worst-hit areas from last year are trying to protect their homes.

More than 4,000 homes and 500 businesses across Gloucestershire were affected by the summer floods.

Some people living in the area have moved all their things upstairs in case of more floods.

They are also using sandbags and rolled-up carpets to protect their homes from any flood waters.

Flash flooding

Up to 25mm of rain is expected to fall in some places of the UK, which could cause flash flooding and chaos on the roads.

Gale force winds of 60-65mph could hit the south-east coast of England, with winds of 50mph inland.

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