Widespread flood warnings after week of downpours

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Hundreds of flood alerts and warnings remain in place across England and Wales following a week of heavy downpours.

It comes as weather is expected to be drier on Friday and into the weekend.

This week, heavy rain has fallen on sodden ground in the wake of Storm Henk, leading to flooding and people having to evacuate their homes.

A major incident was declared in Nottinghamshire along the banks of the River Trent.

Late on Thursday, Nottinghamshire County Council said more than 100 homes had been flooded, with the potential for this number to increase into Friday with water levels expected to rise further.

As of Friday morning, there were 295 flood warnings in place across England and Wales, meaning flooding is expected, with 343 flood alerts in place – meaning flooding is possible.

Guidance on flooding is issued by the Environment Agency in England and Natural Resources Wales.

A Met Office yellow warning for rain covering the south of England expired at 03:00 GMT on Friday.

Mario Thomas, the landlord of the Boat Inn, said it had been flooded three times in the past year – but that this was the worst

Overnight into Friday, 10 fire engines and around 70 firefighters were called out to an incident in east London, after reports of flooding on Smeed Road in Hackney Wick.

A safety cordon has been put in place, with London Fire Brigade saying it is working to divert the floodwaters.

Showers will continue into Friday morning, according to forecasters, and are likely to affect parts of south-west and eastern England, Wales and areas in Scotland.

Stefan Laeger, of the Environment Agency, said: “Significant surface water and river flooding impacts are possible across parts of the Midlands and the south and east of England on Thursday and Friday due to heavy localised rainfall falling on already very saturated catchments.

“Ongoing minor impacts are also likely across much of England over the next five days as some larger rivers slowly respond to recent and forecast rain.”

On Thursday, parts of Worcestershire, Bedfordshire, Northamptonshire, Shropshire, Gloucestershire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire, north Yorkshire and Sussex were submerged.

Train companies have warned that flooding is impacting on services.

Great Western Railway, which connects London with south-west England and south Wales, said several routes had been closed, and is urging customers not to travel.

In Gloucestershire, between the towns of Gloucester and Lydney, flooding is blocking all services – affecting CrossCountry and Transport for Wales services.

These disruptions are expected to be in place until at least Friday morning.

Flooding has also blocked all lines between Liskeard and Looe in Cornwall – a route operated by Great Western Railway services.

It is expected to be blocked until at least the morning, with replacement bus and taxi services being provided.

Late on Thursday, Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services also all warned their services remain affected by the weather.

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