EA gives out 77 warnings, with Thames area badly hit

The Environment Agency has issued 77 Flood Warnings (flooding expected with immediate action required) and 176
lower-level Alerts across the UK.


The South East and Midlands areas are
worst affected, with 25 and 22 warnings respectively. Eye-witness accounts
suggest that many of the Thames’ low-lying islands are submerged, with the
river running strongly.




If your boat is moored on the Thames,
or any UK river, best advise must be to check your moorings as soon as
possible.




Elsewhere, people have been flocking to the West Country
coastline to watch the surf, as high winds deliver unusually big seas. But the
rain is a problem here too, with many properties, especially those close to
rivers, hit by flooding.




With the ground already sodden, continued
rain means that conditions are expected to worsen over the next 48hours.


Met Office figures suggest 2012 will be one of the wettest
years since records began in 1910.



It said just 46mm of rain was needed to fall
before 31 December to make this year the wettest on record for the UK overall,
with 1,291.2mm recorded between 1 January and 26 December. With 40mm expected
to fall on Saturday alone the writing appears to be on the wall, to be quickly
washed off by the next downpour.