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Bad UK Weather - Rain And Win Batters Southern Britain On Sunday

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BAD UK WEATHER RAIN WIND
The Rain And Wind Will Continue On Sunday | PA

South West England and Wales will be battered by gusts of up to 60mph on Sunday while the rest of the country is also expected to experience strong winds and further downpours.

Forecasters said trees could be brought down and already waterlogged areas could be flooded as up to 40mm of rain is predicted to fall in places.

And rain-lashed Britain shows no sign of drying up as the wet weather is set to continue into next week.

England and Wales have experienced the wettest week since December with forecasters seeing no sign of the rain letting up and supermarkets reporting soaring sales of wellies and umbrellas in the face of the deluge.

The Environment Agency has warned of the possibility of localised flooding across parts of the South West, South East and Midlands, East of England and Wales.

A spokeswoman said: "The Environment Agency is closely monitoring the forecast and rainfall particularly in Worcestershire, as the river levels are already higher than normal in the rivers Severn, Teme and Avon.

"Environment Agency officers are out monitoring river levels, checking defences and clearing any potential blockages, such as fallen branches and debris, to reduce the risk of flooding.

"Residents who live near rivers like the Severn should register for the Environment Agency's free flood warnings service and everyone can keep up to date by checking our website, calling our Floodline on 0845 988 1188 and looking out for updates on our Facebook and Twitter pages."

Tom Tobler, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "Gusts of 50 to 60mph are sweeping across South West England, central England and Wales, which will see the worst of the windy weather.

"The wind will then spread north-westwards throughout the day with other areas seeing gusts of up to 40mph.

"There is potential for it to cause some damage.

"The South East will experience heavy rain this morning, but it will then ease off, with the heaviest rain in the South West, central England and Wales. It will then spread northwards."

Tuesday will also see another band of heavy rain across Wales, the Midlands, the South East and East Anglia, but the rain will be more showery in the South West.

Many of the areas at risk of floods are currently in a state of drought, which is gripping the South East, East Anglia, the Midlands, the South West and south and east Yorkshire after two unusually dry winters in a row.

In its latest weekly drought briefing, the Environment Agency said all regions had now received above average rainfall for April, boosting river levels and providing relief for farmers, gardeners and wildlife in drought areas.

But groundwater levels remained low and the rain was not yet making a difference to the drought conditions, the agency warned.

And soil affected by prolonged dry weather is increasing the risk of flash floods as heavy rain quickly runs off hard, compacted ground.

Five flood warnings were in place today for the North East, with properties at risk from rising water levels in a number of rivers including the Ouse in York. Householders were urged to take action to protect their homes.

The latest downpours come at the end of a particularly wet week for England and Wales, in which 42mm (1.7in) of rain fell in the South East and 55mm (2.2in) in the South West, which has now had 166% of the average rainfall for April.

More than two dozen properties were flooded in St Helen Auckland, Co Durham, on Thursday, while there were localised floods in Devon and Cornwall earlier in the week.

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