Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Downpours cause flash flooding

Parts of England and Wales have been hit by flash flooding after a period of torrential rain, the Environment Agency said.

Some 14 flood warnings were issued, covering the South West, South East, East Anglia, the Midlands and Wales. There were also 76 flood alerts issued for areas where the threat was less serious.

Bournemouth received the most rainfall in the UK, with 30mm falling in just 24 hours from 5pm on Saturday. The Dorset town would only expect to receive 100mm of rain on average for the whole of November.

Parts of south Devon, Somerset and Wiltshire were also drenched during the severe downpour. Plymouth recorded 23mm of rainfall during the period.

Julian Mayes, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "It's not exceptional rainfall, but the last two weeks have been fairly wet and it's falling onto saturated ground which means the effect is more immediate.

"Most southern counties had more than 15mm. But the weather will turn drier and we should see an improvement for any flooding problems this week."

Mr Mayes said there were reports of at least 3cm of snow in hilly areas, but he added that it did not fall for very long.

Participants in the London to Brighton Veteran Car Run struggled in the wet conditions. Over 500 pre-1905 vehicles were expected to make their way from the capital to the south coast. But only 449 made it to the start line in Hyde Park, and 372 completed the course.

Rebecca Nicholls, a spokeswoman for the event, said: "The weather made it very hard as the majority of the vehicles were open and the occupants got saturated.

"The weather has obviously caused breakdowns, but a lot of people didn't give up. We had some cars being pushed across the finish line whilst it was raining. It was a huge effort for man and machine against the elements."

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