UK & World News
Flood-Hit Parts Of UK Face More Days Of Woe
The risk of flooding in already swamped parts of the UK is set to increase over the next few days, although most places are today seeing some respite from continual rain.
The Environment Agency (EA) said: "The whole of the south of England is at an increased risk of flooding on Monday and Wednesday, as high tides as and large waves threaten the south coast, while further rain from Tuesday on already saturated ground could lead to river flooding."
The EA warned of coastal flooding affecting the south coasts of Devon and Cornwall tomorrow as well as Somerset, Dorset, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
It added: "Strong winds and high waves could cause flooding along the whole of the south coast on Tuesday and into Wednesday."
There are currently nearly 350 Environment Agency flood alerts, warnings and severe warnings in place across England and Wales, down from 400 earlier today.
Among them are severe flood warnings - the highest level of alert meaning there is an imminent danger to life.
By 10am the tidal surge that followed a smaller than expected Severn Bore had breached the river bank at Minsterworth after bore watchers had moved to higher ground following warnings from police and river authorities.
The coast of Wales and southwest England, including the coasts and tidal areas of Dorset, Somerset and Bristol were also on high alert.
In west Wales, 10 people were rescued last night after the bus they were travelling in was hit by a big wave near Newgale. There were no injuries.
Six men had to be plucked out of the sea by the Padstow lifeboat and Royal Navy rescue helicopter after their French trawler got into difficulty in 30ft waves on Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile, a search involving lifeboats and a helicopter is continuing this morning for an angler who went missing in the sea off south Aberdeenshire.
Elsewhere, residents in the Somerset Levels were preparing for a sixth successive week of flooding.
Road access to the village from the neighbouring Moorlands has been shut off, with several large-scale pumps being used to direct the water out into the bursting River Parrett.
Huge sandbags have been placed by the waters edge, along with several signs erected by residents urging the authorities to "dredge the river".
Gavin Sadler, a member of campaign group Flooding on the Levels Action Group (FLAG), said: "We were in the same boat last year and were told it was a one in a 100-year flood - now it's happened again."
David Cameron has admitted it was "not acceptable" for people to have to live in the conditions they have faced for the past month and said dredging would begin "as soon it is safe to do so".
But Ian Liddell-Grainger, Conservative MP for Bridgwater in Somerset, has hit out at the Environment Agency for what he described as its failure to dredge the river, and called on the Government to hand over money that would bring a reprieve to beleaguered communities.
On Monday the area will see the arrival of two Swedish-made all-terrain vehicles able to access areas where the water is too deep for a traditional 4x4 but too shallow for a boat.
Shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle told Sky's Murnaghan programme that Owen Paterson has "lost a grip on the crisis".
"The Environment Secretary appears to me to be out of his depth. He's just not taking it seriously," she told Sky News.
"This fits in with the fact that he has taken flood protection out of the list of priorities for his department and so he's been focusing on other things."
Following a meeting of the Government's Cobra emergencies committee, Mr Paterson said that all requests from local authorities and emergency services for additional support had been met.
"Everything possible is being done over the weekend to help those affected by flooding and to prepare for the further bad weather and high tides forecast overnight and into next week," he said.
On Saturday in the Republic of Ireland dozens of people were rescued and the army was drafted in to deal with "unprecedented" flooding in Limerick City after the river Shannon burst its banks.
With gusts of almost 80mph in coastal areas of the country, several parts were hit by flooding and at one stage 5,500 homes and properties were left without power, 4,000 of them in Ennis, Co Clare.
In the north of England, Cumbria County Council said its workers had to deal with a "major weather incident" in West Cumbria - after 150 tons of debris brought down by the floods washed up on a road.
Meanwhile, tests for Sky News have found floodwater in Somerset, where the floods have persisted for weeks, contains 60 times the amount of safe bacteria for agricultural water.
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