Storm Alert

Rain and 70mph gales batter UK towns and villages – as the Government says further flooding is inevitable

Tractor pushes a Mercedes car out of flood water

Britain is being battered again by storms and gale force winds – bringing flooding and travel chaos to many parts of the UK.

Stormy seas have caused problems in southwest coastal regions, and forecasters say there will be more violent weather over the next few days.

Inland, some villages on the Somerset Levels have been cut off, with residents in Muchelney, near Somerton, being supplied by boat.

Severe Flood Warnings In Place For The UK

In a statement to the Commons, Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said seven people had died and 1,700 homes had been flooded in England.

He said one million homes have so far been protected by flood defences, but there was a likelihood of more flooding “for some time to come” in Dorset and Wiltshire.

Britain Braced For More Bad Weather

As gusts of up to 70mph hit western coasts, people were urged to remain vigilant and stay away from coastal roads, promenades and jetties with 25ft-high waves crashing on to beaches.

There are fears the next high tides will bring further coastal flooding.

Britain Braced For More Bad WeatherAberystwyth seafront – including 600 rooms of the university’s student halls of residence facing the beach – was evacuated and rescue centres set up as high tides battered the coastline.

Waves crash against the Aberystwyth coastline as strong winds and high tides continue to blow in from the west.

Sky’s Mike McCarthy, at the scene, said: “The worst predictions are being realised. We have seen waves bringing rocks and stones forward over the fencing.”

Student Millie Farmer, 19, said 12ft waves had crashed on to the promenade, ripping up paving slabs and leaving debris scattered on the front.

Flooding in DorsetThe severe weather also took its toll on the transport network and there was more disruption for commuters with roads closed and trains delayed or cancelled in areas.

Southern Railway services between Horsham and Dorking in Surrey will be out of action until early February after a landslip in Ockley.

A rock fall in Porthcothan, Cornwall

The Met Office has issued a yellow warning – meaning “be aware” – for heavy rain, along with hail and thunder, in southern and western parts of Scotland, across Northern Ireland, north Wales, northwest and northeast England and the South.

With the ground already saturated following recent storms, the Environment Agency (EA) has issued three severe flood warnings.

All are in Dorset – one is near Bournemouth, another at Preston Beach in Weymouth, and the third is in the Chiswell area of Chesil Beach.

Large waves hit the seafront as a train travels along the coastal railway line at Dawlish

There are also more than 300 flood warnings and alerts covering every region in England and Wales.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency has 12 flood warnings and 11 flood alerts in place.

A weather map of a storm battering the UK

Sky News weather producer Christopher England said: “There will be widespread heavy showers this evening, but southern and eastern Britain will be mainly dry.

“Strong winds gusting to over 60mph in the South and West will bring a risk of further coastal flooding during high tide.”

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