U.K.'S INUNDATED SOUTH GETS MORE HEAVY RAIN
AS FLOODS SUBSIDE
By Alex Morales
July 26 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K.'s flood-drenched south had more heavy rain today as the biggest
inundations in 60 years retreated from towns including Gloucester and Tewkesbury. Some new flooding was reported west of London.
A band of rain stretched from southwest England
to Norfolk on the east coast, with ``very heavy'' rain coming down near Gloucester
and Tewkesbury, according to the U.K. Met Office's online radar images. The southwest was
given a severe weather warning, with up to 30 mm of rain forecast in 3 hours. That may hamper recovery from the flooding,
the Environment Agency said.
``The rain will slow the rate of fall of the flooding, but the waters aren't expected to rise
again,'' Jenny Stratton, an agency spokeswoman, said in a telephone interview. ``Levels of the River Severn at Gloucester continue to fall, and we're very much in a recovery and clear-up phase.''
Record rains have led to flooding across England
in June and July, pushing insured damage estimates above 3 billion pounds ($6 billion). Swaths of the English countryside
remain underwater, after the U.K.'s two longest rivers, the Severn and
the Thames, burst their banks. Along the Thames, the latest
places to flood include parts of Purley, Shiplake and Marsh, Environment Agency spokeswoman Kelly Logan, said today in a telephone
interview. The agency doesn't expect flooding in London.
The Met Office said today that England
and Wales have had the wettest May-July
period in 241 years of recordkeeping. Even before July has ended, a total of 387.6 millimeters (15 inches) of rain has already
fallen, the most since records began in 1766, and exceeding the 349.1 mm that fell in 1789, the Met Office said today in an
Drinking Water Supplies
In the Southwest, about 340,000 people remain without water as Severn Trent Plc, the U.K.'s second-biggest water company assesses flood damage
to a treatment work. The company said today it plans to return supply to about 10,000 homes in Tewkesbury.
Those without mains water supply are being delivered water in tanks in the street, and the military is helping to distribute
3 million bottles of water a day.
The Environment Agency's Logan
didn't have any details of the flooding in Purley, Shiplake and Marsh. In Oxford, which yesterday became the latest city to
be hit by the floods, water levels on the Thames ``remain high but stable,'' she said. Emergency services yesterday evacuated
about 250 homes in the Osney area of the west of the city, as streets became submerged in about two feet (0.6 of a meter)