Eight flood warnings and 48 alerts issued as rivers could burst banks

Weather: Met Office issues yellow warning for snow and ice

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Just hours after a big freeze hit the UK, torrential rain is now falling across much of the country, with warnings and alerts for flooding now in place right across the southern coast of England. The Environment Agency has activated 48 flooding alerts, which means the excess rainfall could cause issues. But there are eight warnings for large rivers across England which are feared to burst their banks – and potentially cause flash flooding. The guidance urges people to act now – with water expected to log gardens, fields and properties in the coming hours.

The Cuckmere River in Alfreston, East Sussex, is one of the eight expected to cause issues in the local area. The warning from EA said: “The Cuckmere River is high and rising. In the last 24 hours, 35mm of rain has been recorded at Cowbeech. From 11am today, flooding will affect fields, rural roads, gardens, and properties including 

“Another 10mm of rain is expected between 9am and noon on Monday, with showers possible Monday evening and through Tuesday morning too. The river might not begin to fall until noon on Tuesday.

“With unsettled weather predicted for the next five days, the Cuckmere River might not return nearer to normal until the end of the week. River levels could peak at a height similar to November.

“Flood water can be deep and dangerous, please take care if walking near the river in Alfriston.”

Other rivers included are The Bull River in Hellingly and Horsebridge, East Sussex, Mock Bridge, near Shermanbury on the River Adur, West Sussex, River Avon from Didworthy to Aveton Gifford in Bristol, River Axe from Axminster to Axmouth between Dorset and Somerset, River Axe (Upper) from Winsham to Axminster, the River Parrett in Dorset and River Wriggle at Chetnole also in Dorset.

The 48 other alerts, which are not as serious but warn of potential flooding, are scattered across the south east and south west of the country. 

A flood warning urges people to act rather than plan as flooding is expected. Residents living in affected areas are urged to move their vehicles to higher ground if it is safe to do so, move family and pets to safety, move valuables upstairs – and furniture, turn off gas, electric and water supplies and use defences.

These could be flood barriers or air brick covers.

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