More storms on the way in Britain

December 30, 2013 - 10:25:40 am

A man runs through Regents Park in central London yesterday.

LONDON: Forecasters have warned of more wind and heavy rain to hit much of Britain before the new year as efforts continue to clear up the damage caused by last week’s storms.

Winds of 60-70mph are expected to hit Wales and parts of south-west and southern England, while exposed areas such as the Isles of Scilly, west Cornwall and west Wales could see gales of up to 80mph. Scotland is also braced for more heavy rain, with as much as 50-60mm over high ground.

“With ground already saturated over much of this region, the public should be aware of the risk of further local flooding,” the Met Office said.

The bad weather is likely to hamper efforts to repair flood damage in several of the worst-affected parts of Britain. Some 105 flood alerts and 33 more serious flood warnings remained in place on Saturday morning, the Environment Agency said.

Large rivers such as the Thames, the Severn and the Great Ouse in Cambridgeshire would remain particularly high over the next few days, it added. In Kent, continued flooding of the rivers Medway and Stour was expected to cause travel disruption.

David Cameron, the Prime Minister, who visited flooded parts of Kent on Friday, said on Twitter: “I’ve asked the Dept for Communities & Local Govt to ensure councils have robust plans in case of bad weather and flooding over New Year.” A Downing Street spokesman said ministers had held a meeting of Cobra, the government’s emergency response committee, as part of “ongoing work to deal with the severe weather and floods”. 

Meanwhile, the Energy Networks Association reported that about 4,000 properties were still without power after high winds. A spokesman said most of the affected homes in the south-east of England had now been reconnected. However, some homes in Cumbria, north Wales and Cheshire remained without electricity. More than 300,000 people were affected by Tuesday’s storms.

Rail passengers have expressed anger about the length of time it has taken for damaged lines to be repaired. The Guardian

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