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Landslide alert for walkers as deluge mayhem mounts and six weeks of rain is expected to fall before the New Year
Flooding expected across Britain, with 394 warnings and alerts out
Boxing Day walkers warned of landslides on coastlines and rail tracks
The South West, Midlands and Anglia at biggest risk from floods
Seven inches to fall by Saturday on already saturated ground
00:20 GMT, 27 December 2012
Walkers and holidaymakers were warned of a risk of landslides yesterday as the wet weather was forecast to continue into the new year.
With many areas already saturated, the prospect of more heavy showers means there may be further flooding in the next week.
The South-West of England remains the worst affected and forecasters have warned of 'dangerous conditions' in coastal areas.
In St Ives Cambridgeshire some residents awoke to find small boats in their back gardens after the Great Ouse burst its banks
The water levels were so deep home-owners were trapped indoors, with the only way out by boat
Toppled: A woman was rescued from a flooded car in Danbury, pictured, as Essex County Fire & Rescue Service were called to the aid of more than 100 motorists over Christmas
Frightening: More heavy rain left roads impassable in Essex, pictured, where four flood warnings are in force
Essex County Fire and Rescue Service were called to over 100 incidents of motorists with cars stuck in floodwater
River rapids: Lock gates overflowed near Danbury as downpours pushed flood defences to breaking point
We're going to a need a bigger boat: Only those with barges and ships appear to be safe this Christmas, with seven inches of rain expected by Saturday
'We have had such heavy and persistent
rainfall over the past few days and weeks that there is a danger of
landslides and rockfalls along the coast, even on coastal paths,' said a
Met Office spokesman.
Families heading out for a Christmas
walk were urged to 'take care' and warned: 'Do not get too close to the
cliff edge or walk under the cliff face along the beach and remember
coastal paths could be impacted too.'
Many coastal paths in the South-West
have been closed over the past few weeks, and train services have also
been disrupted by small coastal landslides. The latest warning was
issued following advice from the British Geological Survey monitoring
The worst hit areas of the South-West
can expect up to two-and-a-half inches of rain by Saturday night.
However, for the most part forecasters expect heavy showers rather than
the prolonged downpours that have caused the worst of the recent
flooding chaos. A Met Office spokesman said: 'There are going to be
short bursts of showery rain followed by drier spells.
Time for a paddle: A canoeist makes his way down Worcester racecourse after the River Severn was measured at 5.25 metres, its highest since 2008
Alternative route: Many chose to ditch their usual modes of transport today, with Midland rail services and Tube lines affected by the flooding
Ocean spray: Walkers brave the waves lashing the Cobb at Lyme Regis today, A man-made sea wall has been holding back the tide in the spot since 1313, with the present structure built in 1824
The Boxing Day walk did not hold quite the same charm as usual for these families in Fen Drayton, Cambridgeshire
But walking seemed to be the only way to get around the village, which was one of many flooded across the region
The picturesque village was flooded after the nearby River Great Ouse broke its banks
'This unsettled pattern will continue all the way through to the New Year period.'
Yesterday afternoon there were 120
flood warnings and 228 flood alerts still in place around the country,
mainly across the South-West, Midlands and South-East.
Last night firemen were pumping two
feet of flood water from an electricity sub-station which powers 40,000
homes in the Reading area. It was not expected to be shut down.
warnings compound the festive freeze for the east coast of Scotland and
the Shetland, on what is on track to be the wettest year on record. And
in St Ives Cambridgeshire some residents awoke to find small boats in
their back gardens after the Great Ouse burst its banks.
Forecasters said around 0.8ins
(20mm) of rain is expected across the south-west of England and south
Wales today, and the wet weather looks set to continue until the new
year, with as much as three inches (80mm) falling in north-west
England and north Wales on Saturday alone.
Flooding is set to worsen across parts of England and Wales, causing the 'dangerous conditions'.
coastal paths have been closed over the last few weeks along the South
West and train services have been disrupted by small coastal
But there's much more to come… A glorious start to Boxing Day in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, as the sun rises in an amber sky
Golden morning: Rustling grasses glitter in the breeze at dawn, with Christmas over for another year
Wild for Christmas: Fundraisers dressed as animals plunge into the cold North Sea for the annual Boxing Day dip in Saltburn, Cleveland
Surf's up! A dog and diver wear bright red antlers as they lap up the last of the festive spirit