Floods cause road and rail problems

Salisbury Journal: Giant waves at Sunderland as the country is hit by gale force winds Giant waves at Sunderland as the country is hit by gale force winds

Parts of the UK have suffered floods and travel chaos after inches of rain fell in just 24 hours, with more downpours and high winds forecast for some areas.

The Met Office is warning parts of northern England, the Midlands and north and east Wales could see up to 100mm (almost four inches) of rain fall on Monday and Tuesday.

Some areas could receive their average rainfall for the whole of September in 24 hours, raising the risk of flooding from rivers and surface water.

The Pennines are likely to receive the heaviest rain, leading to an increased risk of flooding for communities around the rivers Aire and Calder. Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland are also facing more heavy rain and high winds overnight, the Met Office said.

In England, the Environment Agency has issued more than 20 river flooding warnings for the Midlands, North East, North West and South West and more than 120 less serious flood alerts. A significant number of flood warnings could be issued over the coming days as the wet weather looks set to persist over the UK until the middle of the week.

The agency is urging people to be prepared for flooding, keep an eye on local weather reports and sign up to its flood warning service. People are also being urged to stay away from swollen rivers and not to attempt to drive through floodwater.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: "The main area of concern has moved north, and ... is focusing on North Yorkshire, but we could see impacts in Cheshire, Cumbria, North Wales, Manchester and Northumberland."

Heavy rain has led to more than 100 properties flooding, with some 42 properties in the South West, 35 in the Midlands and 20 in the South East hit by surface water floods. There has been widespread disruption and long delays to rail services in the South West, the Midlands, northern England and Wales, with the lines between Exeter and Bristol, and Wakefield and Leeds among those hit.

Over 24 hours up to Monday lunchtime, Pennerley in Shropshire had received 71mm (2.8 inches) of rain.

The heavy rain and flooding is the latest to hit parts of the UK this year, which saw drought in the spring give way to repeated downpours leading to the wettest April on record and the wettest summer for 100 years.

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