Downfalls set to fuel more floods
Large swathes of Britain remain on flood alert with more heavy and persistent downfalls forecast to further dampen the summer season.
Storms that brought flash flooding to parts of Wales and Shropshire on Friday showed little sign of relenting overnight and are expected to extend into the South East.
Up to 10mm of rain an hour fell in parts of Wales, the Midlands and East Anglia - prompting the Environment Agency (EA) to issue a number of fresh flood alerts.
A total of eight flood warnings are in place - six in the South West, one in the Midlands and one in the Anglia region - with 55 flood alerts across England and Wales. Seventeen of the alerts were issued across the Midlands on Friday night as storms moved in.
The A49 in Shropshire was closed on Friday following intense rainfall, while flash floods hit parts of north Powys after torrential rain.
An EA spokesman said: "The Environment Agency is urging people across central and eastern England to remain vigilant as heavy thunderstorms are forecast to affect large swathes of the country. Locally intense showers falling on already saturated ground could lead to surface water flooding and possible river flooding from fast responding rivers, particularly across parts of the Midlands and East Anglia.
"The Met Office warns that many areas are expected to see between 20 and 30 mm of rain, but some parts could see up to 60mm - almost a month's worth of rain - in just a few hours."
The latest floods come amid claims that nearly 300 flood defence schemes across England have been left unbuilt following government budget cuts. According to the Guardian, which analysed EA documents, 294 projects that had indicative funding in 2010 to begin work in the following two years have not received any money.
Charles Tucker, of the National Flood Forum, told the newspaper: "The fact is that spending has decreased while flooding has increased. Spending on flooding is clearly not enough."
The EA said 364 new flood risk management schemes had been completed in the last three years. Chief executive Paul Leinster said: "There will always be more schemes proposed than funds available and no one can prevent flooding entirely."