Flood Threat As Heavy Rain Hits South Coast

Britain is on flood alert as high winds and heavy rainfall begin to sweep in from the South West.

The Environment Agency has warned residents - many still mopping up after last month's widespread flooding - to brace themselves for a combination of heavy rain and storm surges.

Fourteen flood warnings have been issued across the South East, South West and Wales, while a further 69 areas across Scotland, England and Wales have been told to prepare for possible flooding.

The Environment Agency has also issued a flood alert near Swansea and Port Talbot.

The ground in parts of south and west Wales remains saturated from last month's heavy rainfall, the agency said.

Between 20mm and 30mm of rain is expected to fall over the next 24 hours in the South West and Wales.

High winds of up to 60mph will affect much of the UK, reaching up to 70mph in northeast Scotland.

Heavy rain has already started to fall across the South West, which will bear the brunt of the severe weather.

The public have been advised to stay away from seafronts, quaysides and jetties along the south coast to avoid powerful waves.

Nick Roseveare, of the Environment Agency, said: "We are keeping a close eye on conditions around our coastline and will issue flood warnings if the risk of flooding increases.

"The critical periods will be the early morning tides over the next three days.

"If they coincide with rain, there's a risk of tide-locking, where water is held in rain-swollen rivers and cannot escape into the sea because of the high tides. This could result in localised flooding."

Those in areas of risk have been urged by the Environment Agency to check their website and Twitter feed for the latest updates, or to call the floodline on 0845 988 1188.