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Heavy rain brings more flood risks
Workers survey the water on the A33, which is closed due to flooding in Chineham near Bassingstoke, Hampshire
Heavy rain is continuing to batter large parts of the country, bringing the risk of further flooding, the Environment Agency has warned.
The number of flood alerts has soared for southern England and Wales, with forecasters revealing there will be no respite from the rain over coming days.
The EA said there is a "continued" risk of surface water flooding from overwhelmed drains across parts of London, East and West Sussex, Surrey and Kent.
Some 44 flood alerts have been issued across England and Wales, with three flood warnings - the second-highest EA alert - in place for Barnham Rife, in West Sussex, and the River Mole in Surrey and West Sussex.
Further flood alerts are expected for the South West later amid forecasts of torrential downpours in Torbay and South Devon. There are no severe flood warnings, the highest alert, which mean there is an immediate danger to life.
The flooding has already wreaked havoc across parts of the country, causing the closures of roads and a hospital. Emergency cases at Worthing Hospital in West Sussex were diverted to neighbouring Brighton and Chichester for several hours overnight because of flooding.
But despite the heavy rainfall, the EA spokesman confirmed areas of southern England still remain in drought.
He said: "The rain we have had since the start of April - following the driest March for 70 years - has led to a huge improvement in water resources, putting us in a much more positive position for the summer.
"Water companies have seen reservoir levels rise, river levels are mostly back to normal, and many wildlife habitats that were suffering due to a lack of water have recovered. While the risk of drought with further water restrictions and associated environmental impacts this summer has reduced, the situation could deteriorate again next year if there is not enough rain this winter, particularly as groundwater levels are still low for this time of year."
Gemma Plumb, of MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said up to 25 millimetres of rain could fall in parts of the Midlands, East Anglia, central southern and south eastern England. There will be light rain through central southern parts of England, the Midlands and eastern parts of England tomorrow with some heavy showers across the rest of the UK. On Wednesday there will be further showers, the heaviest of which will be across Wales and south-west England.