Week of bad weather as hurricane-force winds and floods sweep inPA


Forecasters have pretty much ruled out the idea of a white Christmas - as heavy rain and hurricane-force winds are set to batter Britain for the next week.

Gales of up to 75mph are predicted, with a fortnight's worth of rain expected to fall in some parts of the country.

According to the Metro, 26 amber flood alerts are in place in the south west, and Cornwall and Devon are expected to experience very heavy rain.

The Met Office and the Environment Agency are advising the public to be prepared for possible travel disruption and flooding as the rain falls onto already saturated ground.

A spokesman told Aol Travel: "The first spell of persistent, heavy rain is expected to affect South West England in the early hours of Wednesday morning, and it will become increasingly windy. The rain will slowly spread across many parts of the country during Wednesday, with some heavy bursts in places.

"Further heavy downpours are expected across South West England and through the Midlands later on Wednesday and into Thursday, with rainfall amounts reaching 40 to 60 mm in places."

Andy Page, Met Office Chief Forecaster, said: "An active frontal system is expected to move eastwards across the UK over the next couple of days bringing rain to all parts of Britain.

"The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings which means that the public should plan ahead to take account of possible travel delays or disruption to their day to day activities. By thinking ahead the public can be more weather aware and better prepared for severe weather."

Craig Woolhouse, Head of Flood Incident Management at the Environment Agency, said: "Our teams have been out around the clock to minimise the risks and prepare for flooding. We urge people to keep up to date with the weather forecast and remain prepared for flooding in their area by signing up to receive free flood warnings and staying away from dangerous flood water."

As the rain moves across Scotland later on Wednesday and into Thursday it combines with strong southeasterly winds to bring the risk of coastal flooding to parts of eastern Scotland, with some snow falling over the higher mountains.

Last week, the seafront road in Torquay was closed following flooding after a night of heavy rain.

First Great Western train services were also cancelled at Dawlish following the downpours.

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