Monday, April 30th 2012, 10:30 AM EDT
As downpours force the cancellation of the Badminton horse trials in Gloucestershire, parts of England look set to be hit with more heavy rain tonight, raising fresh concerns over possible flooding.
After a weekend of downpours and winds of up to 70mph in south west England and Wales, which brought down trees, left thousands of homes without power and disrupted rail services, the Environment Agency said the situation was improving today.
While flood waters had swept into low-lying fields and some roads, only around 20 properties had flooded across the country.
Unfinished flood defences in Upton-on-Severn, which had to be shored up over the weekend, had kept water out and Tewkesbury, badly hit during the 2007 floods, had experienced some localised flooding but nothing unusual for the area, the Environment Agency said.
However, 37 flood warnings and almost 140 less serious flood alerts are still in place today for England and Wales, with most of the warnings concentrated in the south west.
The Environment Agency said southern England looked set to receive another 20mm to 30mm of rain overnight, raising concerns over how already-saturated river catchments would cope with the latest downpours....
..."Further rain is due this week leaving no chance of the ground drying out. Very sadly therefore the 2012 Mitsubishi Motors Badminton Horse Trials has been cancelled."
"Despite the heavy rain over the weekend, swathes of England are still in a state of drought with warnings that the downpours were not enough to counteract the effects of two unusually dry winters."
Seven water companies have introduced restrictions on water use following one of the driest two-year periods on record, with customers facing a £1,000 fine if they use their hosepipe.
About 20m people will be affected by the restrictions imposed by Thames Water, Southern Water, South East Water, Anglian Water, Sutton and East Surrey, Veolia Central and Veolia South East.
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Source Link: channel4.com