UK & World News
Forecast Floods May Make 2012 Wettest Ever
Large parts of Britain have been told to prepare for more heavy rain, gales and possible flooding this weekend.
The Environment Agency (EA) said that the west of the UK is expected to take the brunt of further wet weather, with many areas still saturated with water from before Christmas, when floods forced many to flee their homes.
The Met Office forecast heavy rain on Saturday, and then for Sunday into Monday morning.
It has also issued a yellow warning for snow in much of central and northern Scotland, starting in the evening and continuing through mid-day Sunday.
In some areas, 4-6in (10-15 cm) of fresh snow is expected, while winds will be strong and ice could become a danger on some roads.
The EA has issued scores of flood warnings and over 200 flood alerts across the country, with the Midlands, the South East and South West worst affected.
Pete Fox, the EA's flood risk manager, said: "Flooding is devastating at any time of year, but particularly at Christmas. Unfortunately, more heavy rain is forecast for this weekend.
"As a result, we're urging people, particularly those in North Wales and western England, to remain vigilant to flooding.
"We're working around the clock to continue to protect homes and businesses from flooding and there are also things that people can do to protect themselves and their properties.
"If you're driving home this weekend, give yourself extra time to make your journey, check your route before travelling and avoid driving through flood water. Check the risk of flooding for your property and, if you're at risk, move valuable items to safety."
This year is expected to become the soggiest since records began more than a century ago.
According to the Met Office just 1.8in (46mm) of rain is needed to fall before December 31 to make 2012 the wettest on record for the UK overall.
A new record has already been set for England with 43.1in (1,095.8mm) falling between January 1 and Boxing Day.
The UK as a whole had 50.8in (1,291.2mm) of rain from January 1 to December 26. The wettest year on record for the UK is currently 2000, when 52.6in (1,337.3mm) of rain fell.
Warnings and alerts have been commonplace since the end of November when deluges flooded homes across the country, causing rivers to burst their banks and roads to become impassable.
Pockets of the UK have had to endure being cut off temporarily, with homes evacuated and residents forced to seek refuge elsewhere, while the country's public transport system has been brought to its knees.
The recent heavy rain, coupled with late-running engineering work and other problems, has meant a miserable return to work for train travellers since 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 later today.
what do you think?
Guessed this back in march
So hopefully no hosepipe bans for a while then. Rainfall has been more or less constant since the day they imposed the hosepipe ban last April.
Hosepipe ban is the uk answer to the indian rain dance
I think they said it needed to rain for seven months to get water levels to where they are needed......job done then.
Coming soon, a hosepipe ban.
My mum's garden gets a bit flooded but I've been thinking of calling it "well irrigated". I wondered how they do in Asia with all the rice fields and torrential flooding there so I turned my attention to Japan. There I found an often totally flooded country, bombarded by tsunami waves caused by earthquakes. The hills and lower lands are covered with flooded rice fields. For some reason, during thousands or hundreds of years, Japan has decided the best location for buildings is on the lowest ground, surrounded by flooded rice field hills. Why? I don't know yet. You would assume the buildings should be on top of the hills. Some are. Whether it is due to the large population living on islands much like in Britain, I don't know. Millions to feed, so lots of rice fields. I suppose if Japan floods so often due to tsunami waves, it might not make any difference to cover it with rice fields? It's just interesting to compare all their flooding to that of Britain? They deal with it by planting rice? Very similar country locations.
Shaun,how are you and youre family doing?
Ok thank you diane.been surrounded by flood water for nearly a week now which constantly looks sort of menacing but not indoors.not to bad at moment as had breaks in rain.though not so good in last couple of hours.
It's not the West Country anymore......I've re-named it the Wet Country...Roll on Summer. I live in hope ;)
Wot summer do you mean hot rain as to the cold we have now lol
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