Christmas Flood Misery Continues For Thousands

More weather chaos is due over the next few days with the Environment Agency (EA) saying flooding may get worse in some areas.

Late this evening at least six flights were diverted from Dublin airport because of "strong gusts on both runways".

Thousands of people spent Christmas Day without power and many were evacuated due to flooding.

With stormy weather expected to continue through the week, the EA said the Christmas misery might get worse.

It said there could be "significant disruption" across southern England, and "heavy showers may worsen the current flooding situation in some areas".

A spokesman added: "Ongoing river flooding across the Somerset Levels, River Severn, River Thames and River Ouse in Cambridgeshire and rivers across Essex is expected over the next few days."

There are 56 flood warnings and 144 flood alerts across England and Wales.

More than 1,000 homes have so far been flooded in England, and thousands of properties are still without power.

Experts have warned that electricity may not be fully restored in some houses until the end of the week.

Rosalind Wright has had no power at her home in Carshalton, Surrey, since Christmas Eve.

She said: "We've been calling the UK power emergency line and they just keep telling us they don’t know when the power will come back on. It’s just so frustrating.

"It’s so cold at night. We can’t wash, our food is ruined, I opened the fridge this morning and the smell was awful.

"We’ve got tropical fish that are dying because they haven’t got their heat and light and oxygen."

Nick Rolt, from Crawley, tweeted a picture of his family sitting down to a candlelit McDonald's meal on Christmas Eve when their power went off.

Firefighters broke their strike in parts of England because of the storms.

Members of the Fire Brigades Union in Surrey and Kent were recalled to duty under the terms of an agreement between the union, the employers and the Government.

In Ireland, strong gale-force winds are expected to continue overnight with western and southern counties taking the brunt of the storm.

Red Alerts have been issued for Wexford, Galway, Mayo, Clare, Cork, Kerry and Waterford. Winds of up to 93mph are expected in exposed areas.

Heavy rain is also due to fall in counties to the west and north. Forecasters have warned of spot flooding in coastal regions.

In the early hours of Christmas Day, around 90 people were evacuated from their homes on the River Stour near Bournemouth.

People were also evacuated from the Beaulieu Garden Park Home in Christchurch, Dorset.

The Coastguard has joined Kent Fire and Rescue Service to rescue people from the Little Venice Caravan and Marina Park in Yalding after rising waters from the River Medway cut them off.

There was also chaos at Gatwick Airport in West Sussex after a power cut at the North Terminal led to cancellations and delays, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

Airport bosses face a possible investigation by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) over the chaos - which came two months after flights were hit by another storm.

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.