Floods: UK To Remain On Alert For Another Week

It has been a very soggy Christmas in many parts of the UK, as more rain fell on flood-threatened areas.

Long downpours continued to bring misery after hundreds of houses and businesses had already been swamped with floodwaters and many more faced the risk of rising waters.

Though there appeared to be some sign of respite with the Environment Agency (EA) reducing its number of flood warnings and alerts, the sodden ground and swollen river levels meant people still needed to be prepared.

The EA said another band of rain is expected to swamp the country on Boxing Day.

"While the worse of the weather is behind us, the risk of flooding continues with rain falling on already saturated ground," an EA spokeswoman said.

"As a result, flood warnings and alerts will remain in place for much of the week ahead.

"This is because river levels remain high and sensitive to further rainfall."

Officials said the rivers Severn, Trent, Avon and Thames are at most risk of flooding.

Around 470 properties have flooded since Wednesday, while Floodline revealed it has received 18,000 calls during the recent wet weather.

The worst affected areas have been south-west England and stretches along the south coast from Cornwall to Kent, along with Wales and northern Scotland.

Kempton clerk of the course Barney Clifford said he saw no need to call an inspection and that the William Hill King George VI Chase meeting on Boxing Day should go ahead as planned.

Following a an extremely dry start, Britain is now set for one of its wettest years ever, the Met Office said.

The UK's average rainfall in 2012, excluding December, is 1,202mm -  placing it 13th in the list of wettest years since records began in 1910.

Forecasters said December's deluge of rain means this year is now likely to finish among the country's highest rainfall totals on record.

The year 2000 remains the UK's wettest year, with an average rainfall of 1,337.3mm.

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