UK & World News
Flood Warnings Remain As River Levels Stabilise
Residents of flood-ravaged towns across England and Wales are continuing to battle high water levels as a week of torrential rainfall works its way through river systems.
At 2.15pm, a total of 146 flood warnings and 151 alerts remained in place despite the rain easing.
The Environment Agency said areas around slow-responding rivers including the Thames, Trent and Severn were a particular concern, but had now reached their peak.
An EA spokesman said: "After several days of heavy rain, the ground is saturated and floodwater from small watercourses continues to flow into larger rivers like the Thames.
"The Environment Agency is carefully monitoring the levels in these rivers and will issue flood warnings if necessary."
It has lifted two severe flood warnings - meaning a potential danger to life - for the River Elwy in the cathedral city of St Asaph and the A55 to Rhuddlan in North Wales.
St Asaph remains severely flooded after the River Elwy reached a record high of 14ft 3in (4.35 metres) and burst through flood defences - making it more than 3ft (1 metre) deeper than its previous record of 11ft 4in (3.47 metres) in November 2009.
Hundreds of people spent the night away from their homes.
Insurance assessor David Flatley told Sky News there had been "significant" damage caused by the flooding in St Asaph.
"It is not just clean water, it is from the river so there are contaminants - there's mud and oil that has run off from the roads," he said.
"People often don't appreciate that things like their kitchens have got to be ripped out, the skirtings have got to be ripped out.
"So as well as the drying out process, which can takes four to six weeks, there is the ripping out before the reinstatement ... in reality it may be more like four or five months before the majority of these people are back in their homes."
Four people have died since the latest bout of wet weather struck and around 900 people in England and Wales have fled their waterlogged homes after heavy rain left many properties uninhabitable.
At Prime Minister's Questions, David Cameron praised the emergency services and "good neighbours" who had helped tackle the flooding.
He also defended Government spending plans on flood defences, saying: "The Government is planning to spend over £2bn over the next four years.
"That is 6% less than over the previous four years, but we believe by spending the money better and by leveraging from private and other sectors we can increase that level of flood defence spending.
"The spending that is already under way will protect an additional 145,000 homes between now and 2015, but if we can go further, of course we should."
Thousands of motorists and train services are subject to hold-ups and reduced services in the West Country and the North East.
The River Ouse in York peaked at 4.5 metres, flooding city centre businesses. The Environment Agency said while it does not expect the flood-prone river to rise any further today, it will remain high.
what do you think?
Well the waters gone down now.at least not inside anymore.so cleaning up today still drive and garden flooded which will stay for a while.couldnt do much yesterday.except rescue an awoken hedgehog and watch the ducks enjoying themselves.still no sign of wessex water though.
Shaun. I am so glad that things are slowly improving for you. I have no doubt water on the drive you can handle but I just cant imagine the helpless feeling as the stuff gets into your house. Stay cheerful my friend and be assured you have the best wishes of all on here.
Thanks dave.wessex water briefly turned up and were looking for a pond and small stream that seems to have gone missing.????. They got out an ordenance survey map out studied it on their landrovers bonnet and then disappeared again.me puzzled?
Shaun at last something positive for you great.
Reminds me of seven water could not find the meter even low the holly bush it is next to is sprayed bright blue.we now have one which is readable by sat gps .were abouts in devon are you as i was at a south devon cattle breaders last year
must be absolutely awful to have your house swamped by filthy water. Can't imagine how you feel. Best wishes Shaun
Its not bad indoors valerie. The rivers very clean though the 81 year old man next hasnt escaped so well as a sewage pipe blocked and the sewage overflowed out of his toilet.this happened before.wessex water and the enviroment officer are here now but seem to be lookimg for a pond and small stream.which has been puzzling me.the only thing today is my hands keep getting very cold so i have to keep coming indoors.everything inside doesnt take long to dry out.
So glad things are slowly getting better and you and youre nearest and dearest are safe
The old man next door turned up and led the enviromental officers straight to where a pond should be .apparently the ponds been dry for two years and there should be a small stream running into it.so missing stream found but no water in it, or at least not what ought to be there.how can you lose a stream i thought this morning but its actually quite easily done.anyway they are gonna find out where the waters gone or going instead.
glad you are on the right side of things
Millions spent on flood defences some not turned on , lack of maintained pumps due to cut backs and Cameron shows up ,talk about brass neck cheek.
and i'm sure you wouldn't have slagged him off if he hadn't gone to show his support!!! lol
Tarka the otter country mark.lots of peaple in suits outside now.and wessex water vans.dont know whats going on now.their not actually doing anything though.like unblocking the sewage pipe.
I do no know uk that well mate as i was from texas.
About 20 miles from barnstaple where emus ran amok.in fact i worked with diane lewis mentioned.on the river torridge.
Shaun guess they are having the pre-Christmas outing :-0 what you need is a nice bottle of the liquid gold or a tot (or two) of Navy rum) if you were closer would bring some round. Take care.
Thanks blue side.my other halfs decided to do what every woman does in an emergency. GONE SHOPPING !!!!???
Treondale heard is were i went to. I am collecting women like you are collecting water. My kid sister knocked dad out during thanksgiveing dinner
enviroment agency spokesman said "after days of heavy rain the ground is saturated".GIVE THAT MAN A BLUE PETER BADGE.What else was he expecting.Wonder if it it the same SPOKESMAN who told us about the drought earlier this year because of the lack of rainfall.Wonder how much these idiots get paid for telling us the obvious.