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UK battered: No let-up in sight for storm-ravaged Britain

BY COLIN FRANCIS

COMMUNITIES across Britain are facing more flooding misery as further heavy rain and storms batter the country.

A triple threat from the elements, with warnings in place for heavy rainfall, gale-force winds and snow, will pile on the problems for areas already struggling in the wake of record wet weather and a string of winter storms.

More than 1,000 homes have been evacuated in the Thames Valley and West Country, and others have been left without power.

Ongoing flooding could continue to affect homes, businesses and land for at least another week, the Environment Agency said.

The Met Office predicted a return to the worst of the winter weather with almost every pocket of the UK experiencing downpours, winds or snow – all falling on already-saturated ground.

The agency has 23 severe flood warnings – meaning risk to life – in force along the Thames, the Severn at Gloucester, on the Somerset Levels and on the south coast, and hundreds more alerts across England and Wales.

Windsor, Maidenhead, parts of Surrey and communities in Buckinghamshire, West Berkshire and Reading are at risk from the River Thames, which has seen levels rise to 60-year highs, and significant flooding is expected.

Severe gales, large waves and high sea levels are threatening coastal flooding on the Dorset coast, as well as the south coast from Cornwall to East Sussex.

Communities are also facing flooding in the south west of England, along the Stour and Medway in Kent and along the River Severn in Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.

The Duke of Cambridge and his brother Prince Harry joined colleagues from the armed forces in helping with the supply of sandbags to defend Datchet, Berkshire.

The Queen has shown her support for Somerset farmers affected by the flooding on the Somerset Levels by contributing feed and bedding from the royal farms at Windsor.

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