Festive Britain continues to be battered by severe weather
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2013’s festive season is likely to be best remembered for the appalling weather conditions that left transport chaos across the country and thousands of homes without power. And things show no sign of abating as gales, heavy rain and 100 mph winds continued to lash the country.
The Met Office issued yellow and amber weather warnings, indicating "severe or hazardous weather" that may "cause danger to life or widespread disruption" and warned that flooding may be imminent. Police forces across the country warned of treacherous driving conditions as trees blew onto roads and visibility plummeted.
With 4000 homes still without power after 43,000 families were forced to see in Christmas with no electricity, emergency crews were furiously trying to repair power lines and pick through debris as the latest storm continued to pick up momentum. Forecasters expect northern England and Wales to take the brunt today
There are 52 flood warnings and 157 flood alerts in place, but the Environment Agency said that number could well increase as rivers continue to swell. 1,200 homes have already been flooded this week. The EA said
"It is possible that heavy rain may worsen the current flooding situation in some areas with rivers responding quickly to rain falling on already saturated ground."
Transport systems looked set to tumble into their traditional abyss of abject chaos. Network Rail advised that routes would need to be checked, tracks cleared of any fallen trees and any damage repaired before train services could start.
Robin Gisby, managing director of network operations at Network Rail, said: "Passengers have had a tough week of travelling and unfortunately that is likely to continue for at least another day.
"Thousands of railway workers have worked tirelessly over the holiday period to try and repair the significant damage caused by Monday's storm and will be called on again over the next 24 hours.
"As ever, safety comes first, as we ensure routes are safe for passenger services, leading to a delayed start-up in some regions."
Gatwick airport said it had "additional teams of engineers, electrical staff and volunteers at the airport to minimise the risk of disruption from potential further flooding".
- UK weather