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Christmas weather: Floods threaten travel headache for festive getaway | UK News



Travellers making their Christmas getaway face continuing disruption after torrential downpours sparked flood warnings across the country.

A severe weather alert is in force across southern England where up to 30mm (1.18in) of rain is forecast in parts, falling on already saturated ground.

Flight cancellations are threatened in Northern Ireland, with a warning of freezing fog.

Motorists heading to the port at Dover face delays after the eastbound carriageway of the M20 in Kent was closed at the junction with the M25 following a serious traffic accident.

On Saturday morning the Environment Agency had issued 106 flood warnings – where flooding is expected – for England, alongside 261 flood alerts, which warn flooding is possible.

It comes after a section of the M23 between London and Brighton was closed on Friday after a river burst its banks and flooded the carriageway.

Sussex Police described driving conditions in the region as “miserable” and said there was “a lot of standing water on the roads”.

Devon and Cornwall Police said flooding across the counties made “a number of roads impassable” and it urged drivers to take extra care and avoid driving into standing water.

River water floods on to M23 in Sussex

Flood water spills on to M23

Highways England has urged motorists to adapt their driving for the wet weather by slowing down, keeping well back from the vehicle in front and easing off the accelerator if steering becomes unresponsive.

The Environment Agency also warned of trying to drive through floodwater as only 30cm of water can move a car.

On the trains, John Halsall, managing director of Network Rail’s southern region, said the combination of one of the wettest autumns since records began and torrential rain had put the rail network “under enormous pressure”.

Southern, Thameslink and Gatwick Express services were affected after rail lines were flooded.

People are being advised to check before they travel.

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