Heavy rain forecast to continue
Published 20/12/2012 | 05:32
The torrential rain that has hammered much of Britain showed no signs of letting up as more residents were on the verge of being evacuated from their homes in one village.
Southern and south western England has been the worst affected, with deluges in Devon, Cornwall and Hampshire leading to more than an inch of rain in some places.
But forecasters warned that up to an inch could fall over Cornwall on Friday night, causing further havoc in areas where the ground is already saturated.
Residents in 55 homes in Wallington, Hampshire, were offered the chance to evacuate by police amid fears that the River Wallington could burst its banks, but only three had chosen to do so by this evening.
The Environment Agency has 241 flood alerts and 53 flood warnings in place, while there is one severe flood warning in place in Wallington. The most severe alert, it is described as being a "danger to life" on the Agency's website.
South east Wales, the Midlands and the north east of England were also at risk as successive bands of rain sweep across the country. The weather is likely to remain unsettled for up to seven days.
Billy Payne, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "Most of the country at the moment is still covered in heavy rain.That rain's going to become more confined to the North tonight, while the heaviest rain will be in south eastern Scotland.
"Over 30mm (1.2ins) will fall later on across the south east of Scotland and there will still be heavy bursts elsewhere in the north of England and for a time in the Midlands as well."
He added that while Friday daytime should be drier, the rain was set to fall heavily again by the evening, particularly in south west England, Wales and Northern Ireland.
"Cornwall and Devon will be seeing the worst rain tomorrow night which will then move north-eastwards. Saturday will be a lot like today and in some areas will be quite heavy, so not particularly pleasant and will add to flooding worries."