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Heavy rain causes floods chaos

Torrential rain has led to flooded homes, road closures and havoc on public transport across parts of the country.

Dozens of flood warnings and alerts were in place as the latest downpours continued to fall on ground already saturated after three months of record-breaking rainfall across the UK.

Almost 100 properties were flooded, the M50 was among a number of roads closed by the bad weather and flooding and landslips caused delays on major rail routes. Six people had to be rescued from a flooded caravan park in North Yorkshire after heavy rain left the site under 2ft (0.6m) of water.

And the wash-out summer is set to continue in the coming weeks, with forecasters predicting the weather is still likely to be inclement when the Olympics start - although conditions are not expected to be as bad as they have been.

With continuing downpours, the Environment Agency warned the country was "not out of the woods yet" in the latest floods to hit the country in recent weeks. The worst affected area on Friday night and into Saturday morning is expected to be south-west England, which has already seen extremely heavy rain, with 1.6in (40mm) falling in just half an hour in Somerset.Forecasters said a further 3.2in (80mm) is expected to fall across the South West on Friday night.

Northumberland could also see very heavy rain and flooding, said the Environment Agency. The south Pennines and north Midlands, including the areas around Manchester, Sheffield, North Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire which are among the worst areas hit by the latest floods, also remain at risk into the weekend.

Craig Woolhouse of the Environment Agency said: "We would urge people to remain on alert for flooding, especially in Devon, Cornwall and Somerset. It has been raining heavily today, and the situation could escalate quite quickly. We would also ask people to remember to stay away from flood water, and do not walk or drive through it, as it is often fast- moving and can contain sewage and other debris."

Many parts of the country have received more than half the average rainfall for July in just one day, and the Met Office is warning of continued heavy rain on Friday evening and into Saturday.

Severe weather warnings were in place across the Midlands and northern England, Wales, and also for parts of Gloucestershire, Somerset and Devon. There were 50 flood warnings and more than 120 less serious flood alerts in place.

Meanwhile, Grand Prix fans were warned not to attend the Silverstone race track on Saturday as rain left thousands stranded in traffic jams near the site. Heavy rainfall affected race fans outside the Northamptonshire track and left some car parks unusable. Silverstone managing director Richard Phillips issued an "unreserved apology" to fans, adding the incident almost reduced him to tears.

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