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Britain braced for Bertha backlash

More than a month’s rain fell across parts of the UK overnight as the country dealt with flash flooding.

Further wet and windy weather is expected tomorrow when the remnants of Hurricane Bertha are expected to hit the UK.

Eastern England was worst affected by heavy downpours, with some areas seeing more than two inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period.

Several streets were left underwater and residents evacuated from their homes in the Lincolnshire town of Louth, while downpours also led to waterlogged roads in Maidstone, Kent.

Some towns saw more rainfall in one day than they normally would throughout the average August, Met Office forecaster Helen Roberts said.

“March in Cambridgeshire had 68.8mm of rainfall in 24 hours, while the average rainfall for that region in August would normally be 53.6mm,” she said.

There will be a reprieve in the weather today, Ms Roberts added, before the effects of Hurricane Bertha, which has been travelling across the Atlantic after hitting the Caribbean islands with gusts of more than 90 mph and leaving thousands of homes without power, are felt tomorrow.

Temperatures in the South are expected to reach up to 24C (75F) today while they will be in the high teens further north.

Forecasters said that currently, southern parts of the country are most at risk from “heavy rainfall, strong coastal winds and large waves”, followed by areas of north east Scotland on Monday.

But there is also the possibility that the depression could move across northern France.

A spokesman for the Met Office said t he transition of Bertha from a tropical to an extra-tropical storm was a “particularly hard one to forecast” but it was increasingly expected to affect the UK tomorrow.

Chief meteorologist Paul Gundersen said: “There is still some uncertainty surrounding this weekend’s weather, with the potential for heavy rainfall, strong coastal winds and large waves on Sunday.

“However, there is still a chance that the system may pass to the south of the country giving the UK a brighter day.

“Rain and strong winds may well bring disruption, especially across southern parts of the UK, with the potential for more than 50mm of rain and coastal gusts of over 60mph.”

Lincolnshire Police said that areas affected in Louth yesterday included Church Street, Eastfield Road, Keddington Road and Horncastle Road, while the Co-op store was also temporarily evacuated.

Environment Agency flood risk manager, Craig Woolhouse, said: “Heavy rain on Sunday may lead to localised surface water flooding in some parts of England and Wales.

“On Sunday and Monday a combination of high spring tides and strong westerly winds bring a risk of large waves and spray and possible flooding to the South West coast of England and along the Severn Estuary.

“If you’re travelling to or from holiday then check your flood risk before setting off and don’t drive through flood waters.”

Environment minister George Eustice said: “We are working closely with the Flood Forecasting Centre, the Environment Agency, Local Authorities and emergency services to ensure we are prepared for any potential flooding this weekend.

“I urge people to remain vigilant and pay close attention to advice from the Environment Agency and emergency services.”

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