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25.04.12

Drought areas issued flood warnings

Flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency for areas in drought, as heavy rain is forecast this week. The rivers Coley, Upper and Lower Axe, Char, Upper and Lower Otter, Taw and Wriggle are likely to break their banks and residents have been advised to take immediate action to protect themselves and their property.

Lower level flood alerts have been issued in 20 south west areas as experts forecast 40mm of rain on Wednesday. The South West, South East, Anglian region, Midlands and parts ofYorkshirehave recently been given official drought status.

However, only prolonged periods of rain would be able to replenish ground water levels, experts warn. Trevor Bishop, head of water resources at the Environment Agency, said: “It’s going to take more than a week or two of rain to undo the effects of nearly two years of below average rainfall.

“The recent rain is good for farmers and gardeners and the cool temperatures ease the pressure on fish and wildlife in rivers.

“But with dry soils most of the rain will be soaked up - or, worse still, run off quickly if the surface is compacted, causing flash floods.”

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