Britain is at a high risk of flooding this autumn and winter after a washout summer, the Environment Agency and Met Office have warned.

The record-breaking rainfall from April to June, followed by more wet weather, has left river levels full, the ground saturated and groundwater exceptionally high.

rain

A house in Dura Den in Fife was almost swept away by the weight of the flood water after almost 36 hours of rain in October

Householders and emergency services are being advised to be prepared for flooding, which with saturated conditions, could occur with relatively small amounts of rain.

Paul Mustow, head of flood incident management at the Environment Agency, said: "This year our flood defences have protected over 119,000 properties, but we cannot prevent flooding entirely.

no foundations

The floods washed away material around the foundations as a waterfall surged through the backgarden at a block of flats in Newcastle in October

"With one in six homes at risk of flooding, the most important step people can take in protecting themselves from the worst impacts is to find out if they are at risk, and sign up to the Environment Agency's free flood warnings service.

"As winter approaches we'd encourage everyone to take this one step to help protect themselves from what is recognised as the country's number one natural hazard."

The Environment Agency and Met Office are warning that:

  • The South West of England is of particular risk of flooding from rivers in November and December with northern and western parts of England at Wales at increased risk after recent heavy rainfall.

aerial

An aerial view showing flood water from the River Ouse in York, North Yorkshire.

  • Unseasonably high groundwater levels mean there is increased risk of flooding in the south and east of England with Devon, Dorset and Hampshire particularly at risk.

Flooding from surface water, where the amount of rainfall overwhelms the drainage network, is more likely as the ground is already saturated.

The risk of coastal flooding also increases at this time of year, especially during periods of high spring tides from November 12-18 and and December 12-18.

floods silt etc

A car is submerged in mud after the waters subsided in an area of Newcastle

Sarah Jackson, the Met Office's chief adviser to the Government, said: "We are heading into the winter period which is traditionally the wetter period of the year in the UK.

"Because the ground is so wet, if we do have any prolonged heavy rainfall in any part of the country, there is going to be heightened risk of flooding.

"We recommend that everyone keeps up-to-date with the latest forecasts and warnings in periods of wet weather to be prepared."

More than 1.1 million people are signed up to receive Environment Agency flood warnings - which can be sent by email, text, or a message to a landline or mobile phone.

This summer, 100,000 households were warned of potential flooding, giving people essential time to protect their homes and possessions.

Households and businesses can check their flood risk and sign up to receive free flood warnings at www.environment-agency.gov.uk/flood.

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  • Scotland Hit By Widespread Flooding

    DURA DEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: Workers inspect the damage caused by localized flooding on October 12, 2012 in Dura Den,Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been affected by wide spread flooding causing disruption to road and rail travel. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Scotland Hit By Widespread Flooding

    DURA-DEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: Workers inspect the damage caused by localized flooding on October 12, 2012 in Dura Den,Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been affected by wide spread flooding causing disruption to road and rail travel.(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Scotland Hit By Widespread Flooding

    DURA-DEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: A woman looks at the damage caused by localized flooding on October 12, 2012 in Dura Den,Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been affected by wide spread flooding causing disruption to road and rail travel. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Scotland Hit By Widespread Flooding

    DURA-DEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: Workers inspect the damage caused by localized flooding on October 12, 2012 in Dura Den,Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been affected by wide spread flooding causing disruption to road and rail travel. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Scotland Hit By Widespread Flooding

    DURA-DEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: A woman shouts from her house to a worker as heinspect the damage caused by localized flooding on October 12, 2012 in Dura Den,Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been affected by wide spread flooding causing disruption to road and rail travel. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Scotland Hit By Widespread Flooding

    DURA-DEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: Workers inspect the damage caused by localized flooding on October 12, 2012 in Dura Den,Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been affected by wide spread flooding causing disruption to road and rail travel. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Scotland Hit By Widespread Flooding

    DURA-DEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: Workers inspect the damage caused by localized flooding on October 12, 2012 in Dura Den,Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been affected by wide spread flooding causing disruption to road and rail travel. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Scotland Hit By Widespread Flooding

    DURA-DEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: A woman looks at the damage caused by localized flooding on October 12, 2012 in Dura Den,Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been affected by wide spread flooding causing disruption to road and rail travel. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Worcester Races

    WORCESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 11: Jockey David England peers out of the weighing room window at the gloomy weather at Worcester racecourse on October 11, 2012 in Worcester, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

  • Many Parts Of Scotland On Flood Alert

    GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 11: A member of the public shelter from the rain on Buchanan Street on October 11, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been warned by the Met Office to be prepared for the potential of a month’s rainfall in the next 24 to 48 hours. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Many Parts Of Scotland On Flood Alert

    GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 11: Members of the public shelter from the rain on Buchanan Street on October 11, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been warned by the Met Office to be prepared for the potential of a month’s rainfall in the next 24 to 48 hours. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Many Parts Of Scotland On Flood Alert

    GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 11: Rain drops gathered on a window in Buchanan Street on October 11, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been warned by the Met Office to be prepared for the potential of a month’s rainfall in the next 24 to 48 hours. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Many Parts Of Scotland On Flood Alert

    GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 11: Members of the public shelter from the rain on Buchanan Street on October 11, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been warned by the Met Office to be prepared for the potential of a month’s rainfall in the next 24 to 48 hours. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Scotland Hit By Widespread Flooding

    DURA-DEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: A woman shouts from her house to a worker as heinspect the damage caused by localized flooding on October 12, 2012 in Dura Den,Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been affected by wide spread flooding causing disruption to road and rail travel.(Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Scotland Hit By Widespread Flooding

    DURA-DEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: Workers inspect the damage caused by localized flooding on October 12, 2012 in Dura Den,Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been affected by wide spread flooding causing disruption to road and rail travel. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Scotland Hit By Widespread Flooding

    DUR-DEN, SCOTLAND - OCTOBER 12: Workers inspect the damage caused by localized flooding on October 12, 2012 in Dura Den, Scotland. Many parts of Scotland have been affected by wide spread flooding causing disruption to road and rail travel. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

  • Autumn Colours Start To Show In London

    LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 12: A jogger runs in Hyde Park on October 12, 2012 in London, England. Autumnal colours are beginning to show in parts of the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Autumn Colours Start To Show In London

    LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 12: Green turns to yellow in Hyde Park on October 12, 2012 in London, England. Autumnal colours are beginning to show in parts of the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Autumn Colours Start To Show In London

    LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 12: A yellowing tree stands alone in Hyde Park on October 12, 2012 in London, England. Autumnal colours are beginning to show in parts of the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Autumn Colours Start To Show In London

    LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 12: Reds and yellows are displayed on a tree in Hyde Park on October 12, 2012 in London, England. Autumnal colours are beginning to show in parts of the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

  • Autumn Colours Start To Show In London

    LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 12: A woman takes a stroll in Hyde Park on October 12, 2012 in London, England. Autumnal colours are beginning to show in parts of the United Kingdom. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

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  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Water Cascades past houses in Newburn, Newcastle today after yesterdays floods left them in a state of collapse.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Water Cascades past houses in Newburn, Newcastle today after yesterdays floods left them in a state of collapse.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    An aerial view showing cars travelling along the A64 Scarborough to Leeds road as it passes over flood water from the River Ouse in York, North Yorkshire, communities are being warned of the possibility of more flooding after the most intense September storm for decades left 400 homes and businesses flooded and caused widespread chaos.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    An aerial view showing the village of Sutton upon Derwent, East Yorkshire, surrounded by flood water from the nearby River Derwent as communities are being warned of the possibility of more flooding after the most intense September storm for decades left 400 homes and businesses flooded and caused widespread chaos.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    The High Street, in Newburn, Newcastle, where flooding has left business owners devastated and deposited huge amounts of mud and debris.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    The High Street, in Newburn, Newcastle, where flooding has left business owners devastated and deposited huge amounts of mud and debris.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Two actors from a tourist attraction The York Dungeon, make their way into work along a flooded street in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Residents carry sandbags to riverside properties in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Riverside offices were difficult to access with rising floodwater in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Floodwater rises in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Floodwaters rise in city centre streets in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car submerged from yesterday's floods in Newburn in Newcastle.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car submerged from yesterday's floods in Newburn in Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 26, 2012. Communities are being warned of the possibility of more flooding after the most intense September storm for decades left homes and businesses flooded and caused widespread chaos. See PA story WEATHER Wet PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 26, 2012. Photo credit should read: Owen Humpreys/PA Wire

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car submerged from yesterday's floods in Newburn in Newcastle. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 26, 2012. Communities are being warned of the possibility of more flooding after the most intense September storm for decades left homes and businesses flooded and caused widespread chaos. See PA story WEATHER Wet PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday September 26, 2012. Photo credit should read: Owen Humpreys/PA Wire

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    The fields surrounding Tewkesbury Abbey in Gloucestershire are flooded following countrywide storms.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Flooding in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Natalie Stroughair sandbags a taxi office in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    The bridge in the centre of Tadcaster which has been closed as flood waters from the River Wharfe continue rise.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A woman gets a piggy back ride to a Taxi Office in the centre of York, as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Watching the floodwater rise in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Office workers are evacuated from their premises in York city centre as floodwater rises in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Rescuers bid to save ailing whale

    A 26ft (8m) minke whale washed up after gale force winds and high seas at Druridge Bay, Northumberland.

  • Rescuers bid to save ailing whale

    A 26ft (8m) minke whale washed up after gale force winds and high seas at Druridge Bay, Northumberland.

  • Rescuers bid to save ailing whale

    A 26ft (8m) minke whale washed up after gale force winds and high seas at Druridge Bay, Northumberland.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car drives through flood water on Noahs Ark Lane, Mobberley, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Watching the water levels rise as riverside properties in York are under threat from the River Ouse which continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Natalie Stroughair sandbags a taxi office in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Council workers sandbag riverside properties in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A man looks over rising flood water from the River Wharfe in the centre of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Watching the floodwater rise in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Watching the floodwater rise in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Elevated walkways carry pedestrians over floodwater in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A local riverside resident carries tea to Council workers who were placing sandbags at riverside properties in York as the River Ouse continues to rise today following the torrential rainfalls of the past few days.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    A resident of Knaresborough wades through water following flooding from the River Nidd in the town.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car makes its way through Rickerby Park in Carlisle after more heavy overnight rain.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Water surrounds the 18th green at Stoney Holme golf course in Carlisle after more heavy rain overnight.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Water covers the fairways at Stoney Holme golf course in Carlisle after more heavy overnight rain.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    Flood water covers grassy areas of Rickerby Park in Carlisle after more heavy overnight rain.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A cyclist avoids flood water on the closed A34 near Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    A resident of Knaresborough wades through water following flooding from the River Nidd in the town.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A van is forced to turn around after flood water closed the A34 near Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A cyclist avoids flood water on the closed A34 near Alderley Edge, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car drives through flood water on Noahs Ark Lane, Mobberley, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 26th

    A car drives through flood water on Noahs Ark Lane, Mobberley, Cheshire.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Firefighters rescue stranded motorists from a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Firefighters rescue stranded motorists from a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    A stranded motorist is helped by a member of the emergency services after being rescued from a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Firefighters rescue stranded motorists from a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Residents look on in Morpeth as the water levels rise near their homes, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Firefighters inspect a stranded lorry on a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.

  • Autumn weather September 25th

    Firefighters make their way along a flooded road outside Castleford, West Yorkshire, as persistent heavy downpours continued, causing some areas to experience a whole month's rainfall in just 24 hours.