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September 25 2012 3 25 /09 /September /2012 07:18

Flooding and traffic chaos as gales and torrential rains batter the UK

BRITAIN is bracing itself for a battering from gales and torrential rain — with forecasters predicting a month's rainfall in one day.

The Met Office and Environment Agency warned homeowners to be on standby as rivers threatened to burst their banks and motorists were advised to drive with caution.


Fire crews across the south were also on alert as the wind and rain were predicted to get worse.



Forecasters predict up to 80mm rainfall and 50mph winds over the next 36 hours, with pockets of the south west, northern England and Scotland particularly threatened by flooding.


The Environment Agency has warned of significant travel disruption and flooding of properties over the next 24 hours.

Paul Mott, senior meteorologist at MeteoGroup, warned: “There is going to be a big change in the weather from what we have had recently.



“There is likely to be some localised flooding, and gusts of up to 60mph in parts of Scotland, which is enough to pull up the odd tree.”


Parts of Britain have basked in warm temperatures in the mid-20s during September, a welcome break from the rain and wind that dogged much of July and August.



But Environment Agency director of operations David Jordan said: “We are expecting flooding across the country from this evening and in to Monday and Tuesday.


We strongly urge people to sign up to flood warnings, keep a close eye on local weather forecasts and be prepared for the possibility of flooding.



“We also ask that people stay safe, by staying away from swollen rivers and not attempting to drive through floodwater.”

Steve Willington, Met Office Chief Forecaster, said that an unsettled spell was to follow for the whole week with the entire country experiencing windy and wet weather.


He added: “A deep area of low pressure is moving north from the Bay of Biscay and will bring a very unsettled spell of weather to all parts of the UK this week.



“Everyone should be prepared for the effects of heavy rain and strong to gale force winds as they combine to bring the potential for travel disruption and localised flooding over the next few days.”


The Highways Agency also advised motorists to drive with “extra care.”


A woman braves the heavy rain to take her dog for a walk
Change ... the British autumn has turned rainy after a long period of warm and sunny days

Severe weather manager Tim Lyver said: “I would like to encourage everyone making a journey by road today to be alert to the weather conditions and to drive with extra care.


It takes twice as long to stop when the road is wet, so leave plenty of space between vehicles, and slow down if heavy rain or spray is making it difficult to see the road ahead.”


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