Developing

Gale-Force Gusts And Flooding Batter UK

Gale-force winds have battered parts of the UK as the threat of torrential rain prompted dozens of flood alerts.

Severe weather warnings were issued for Wales, south west England, the Midlands, London and the South East and eastern parts of the country.

The weather meant a number of events cancelled, including day two of the Suffolk Show, the Canoe Slalom World Cup in Cardiff and the Poole Quay World Oceans Day event and boat cruise.

The Ballivor Horse Show in County Meath and some events at Bramham Horse Trials in north Yorkshire were also called off.

But campers have still been braving the high winds and rain for a taste of the great outdoors.

Sarah Walker and her partner were wrestling with their tent at Hurley in Berkshire.

She said: "We are having a lovely time.

"This is what we do, this is what the British do."

On the opposite side of the muddy campsite, Angela Bandura had been holidaying in the rain all week.

Trudging around her tent replacing the pegs, she said it had been awful.

"I don't know how I have coped actually, I could easily have gone home on the second day we were here."

On the river Thames at Eynsham in Oxfordshire the Dent and the Curry families said they were glad to be getting off their narrow boat.

After a week on the river for half term they had had enough.

Dad Steve Dent told Sky News: "It has rained every single day so we have been in full waterproofs the whole time, you can barely see when it's coming down horizontally into your eyes."

The good news is that the weather is set to improve over the weekend.

Joanna Robinson of Sky News' weather team said: "Strong winds will continue to affect the Republic of Ireland and southern Britain this evening, with potentially damaging gusts, but the wind will finally begin to ease overnight.

"Heavy rain will turn increasingly patchy as well, becoming confined to parts of Ireland, Wales and central Britain. Local flooding is still possible after such a wet spell.

"Tomorrow, Ireland, Wales, the Midlands and southern England will be less windy and mostly dry, with pleasant sunny spells developing.

"There'll be a few showers through the afternoon though, mainly in the far south.

The rest of Britain will be cloudier, with frequent showers across southern Scotland and northern England, with heavy downpours possible.

On Sunday, rain is likely to return to southern Ireland, south Wales and southern England. 

Elsewhere, it'll be drier and brighter, but there'll be a scattering of showers."

The torrential downpours come after Britain experienced its wettest April on record - with the UK's biggest water company suggesting it could lift its hosepipe ban .

:: See the latest weather forecast

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