UK on flood alert as rain looms

Andover Advertiser: Britian is back on flood alert as heavy rainfall and high winds batter the south coast Britian is back on flood alert as heavy rainfall and high winds batter the south coast

Britain is on flood alert after 24 hours of heavy rain and high winds.

A combination of strong winds, large waves and high tide has led to a risk of coastal flooding in parts of South Wales, the Bristol Channel, Devon, Cornwall and along the south coast of England.

And drivers across the country struggled with black ice as heavy rain fell on frozen ground, with the AA attending 5,800 breakdowns between midnight and noon.

The Environment Agency continues to have 12 flood warnings in place: eight in the South West, three in three South East and one in Wales. A further 62 areas nationally have been told that flooding remains a possibility, particularly in the South West.

Around 30 commercial properties were flooded overnight in the coastal town of Looe, south Cornwall, as a band of heavy rain swept in from the Atlantic.

Forecasts suggest the worst of the weather has passed, with winds expected to drop down to 20-25mph in the South West and Wales and 0.3in-0.4in (8mm-12mm) of rain predicted to fall over the next 24 hours.

Culdrose in west Cornwall received the most rain, with 0.8in (21mm) falling in the last 18 hours, while Berry Head in Devon saw the strongest winds, with gusts of 49mph recorded at 8am on Friday.

Rachel Vince, a meteorologist with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "Through the weekend the UK is looking at a relatively mild picture compared to recent days, with temperatures in the double figures. The wet weather looks like being largely confined to the South and West, where we'll see a mixture of sunshine and showers.

"Unfortunately there is no significant dry weather down in the South West, but the precipitation will become more showery rather than the persistent rain they had through the night."

The Environment Agency is still advising people to stay away from seafronts, quaysides and jetties along the south coast to avoid powerful waves. A spokesman said: "The strong winds and high tides can be quite dangerous for people walking along the coast, with waves breaking on to coastal paths."

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