Southern and western Britain are bracing themselves for more storms and rain as the wettest January on record looks set to continue well into February.
The biggest Atlantic storm of the year is due on Friday, with the already half-submerged county of Somerset fearing more misery. The west is now cut off by rail from the rest of the country at Bridgwater. Battered coastal towns from Cornwall up to Wales are bracing themselves for more damage.
The Thames barrier has again been closed; this year it has already been used a record number of times, but the river has burst its banks in several places, with flooding in the wealthy home counties of Berkshire and Surrey, where there are 16 risk to life alerts. Claims are likely to cost insurers plenty.
Britain is not the only place facing wild weather. 11-metre waves are crashing onto the Portuguese coast causing extensive damage, and there are alerts out in Ireland, Spain, and France, too.
The Brittany coast in France has seen beaches covered with hundreds of dead birds; dead from exhaustion as there is no let up from the wind and rain.
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