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Heavy rain may ‘slow down’ storm recovery efforts and risk further flooding

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eavy rain set to lash the UK could worsen the risk of flooding and “slow down” recovery efforts following three storms which battered the nation in a week.

The storms – named Dudley, Eunice and Franklin – left 1.4 million households without electricity, some for up to 72 hours, with latest figures showing just under 30,000 still without power as of Monday afternoon and residents in some areas told to evacuate.

As a result, the Environment Agency has urged communities in parts of the West Midlands and the north of England, especially those along River Severn, to be prepared for significant flooding until Wednesday following high rainfall from Storm Franklin.

Workmen build flood defences at the River Severn in Ironbridge (Nick Potts/PA) / PA Wire

It has issued hundreds of flood warnings across the UK, including two rare “severe” warnings for the River Severn at the Wharfage, Ironbridge and Wribbenhall, Bewdley, where rising water levels pose a “significant risk to life”, with barriers forecast to exceed their capacity and potentially overtop.

A Met Office spokesman said while there will not be a “huge amount” of rain on Tuesday, further rainfall in flood-affected areas could “massively” slow down recovery work.

Heavy showers lashing northern England and Northern Ireland are set to move south-eastwards on Tuesday, the Met Office said.

National Rail said travellers should check before travelling on the railways in the morning ahead of a “small number of delays and alterations”.

Forecaster Mark Wilson told the PA news agency: “It’s been an improving picture following a really bad start to the week, with strong winds due to Storm Franklin.

“Outbreaks of rain have been clearing off to the east, and some parts have been brighter but still windy, so not a great start but it has improved.

“Overnight and in the early hours of Tuesday bands of rain and strong winds in the north of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland will begin to move, bringing scattered showers across many regions, including those which have already seen flooding.

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