Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

No end in sight to wet weather

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman meets council workers cleaning up after flooding in Ottery St Mary, Devon
Caroline Spelman meets local residents Philip Nolwenn and Luke Nolwenn, with Richard Cresswell, Environment Agency director for the South West, in Ottery St Mary, Devon
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman views flood defences with Richard Cresswell, Environment Agency director for the South West

Forecasters have warned there will be no respite from the wet weather this week as flood-hit communities across the UK count the cost of recent torrential downpours.

Many homes were left under water and one driver died when his car left the road after a month's worth of rain fell in just 24 hours in many parts of the country.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman met flood victims in Devon, where a huge clean-up operation was under way after the area saw the worst of the weekend's bad weather.

Ms Spelman spoke of the importance of flood prevention schemes during the visit to Ottery St Mary, near Exeter, which had a number of defences put in place after previous flooding. She said she had been given assurances that all Olympic sites would be resilient to flood after flooding at a park-and-ride car park in Weymouth, Dorset, which will be used to transport spectators to sailing events.

At Wimbledon, rain stopped play during Roger Federer's Centre Court victory over Andy Murray and the men's singles final only resumed after the roof was closed.

But drivers and fans at the British Grand Prix were able to enjoy a dry race, despite two days of rain causing havoc on and around the Silverstone circuit and turning car parks into mudbaths.

Matt Dobson, senior forecaster with Meteogroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said England and Wales were unlikely to see any sunny weather during the next 10 days, although the forecast for Monday was more promising.

"Tomorrow we are looking at more scattered showers but it should be a little bit better than it has been over the past few days," he said.

"Looking ahead it is a very unsettled week with no respite from the wet weather. There will be heavy downpours on Tuesday and Thursday, particularly across England and Wales, and no sign of any sunny weather for the next 10 days."

Mr Dobson said scattered heavy showers were affecting east Wales and the West Midlands, with heavy thunderstorms over Herefordshire and Worcestershire. There would also be heavy showers in Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire, moving towards London and the south coast and a risk of thunderstorms over central and eastern England on Monday.

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