UK & World News
Weather: Downpours To Bring Yet More Flooding
Large parts of Britain are braced for yet more flooding with heavy rain forecast on Friday and Saturday.
Just under two inches of rain are needed by Monday for 2012 to be the wettest year on record for the UK overall.
A new record has already been set for England with 43.1in of rain falling between January 1 and Boxing Day, the Met Office said.
The Environment Agency (EA) said that the west of the UK should prepare to take the brunt of more wet weather, with many areas still saturated with water from before Christmas, when floods forced many to flee their homes.
Heavy rain in the north and west on Friday will increase the risk of flooding, while more downpours are forecast on Saturday.
"The weather is set to remain unsettled into the weekend. With the ground still very wet, and river levels running high, any rain is likely to increase the risk of flooding," an EA spokesman said.
"There is also an ongoing risk of flooding from groundwater, particularly in Dorset, and some larger rivers like the Thames and Severn are still rising as they slowly respond to the recent downpours.
"As a result, we may see further flooding of low-lying land, such as flood plains and low-lying roads as the peak in river levels moves downstream."
There are 82 flood warning and 182 less-serious flood alerts in place, focused on the Midlands, South West and South East.
The recent heavy rain, coupled with late-running engineering work and other problems, meant a miserable return to work for rail travellers on Thursday.
First Great Western said the main line in the South West, which has been closed since before Christmas because of flooding between Exeter St Davids and Tiverton, is expected to reopen on Saturday.
The Thames Barrier was also raised on Thursday morning to keep the high tide out of London and reduce the risk of flooding.
It reopened later in the day, but was closed again from 10.15pm through to 3am.
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