Stormyend to year prompts new flood warnings

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warnings were issued last night of further heavy rain and strong winds as the UK faces a stormy end to 2012.

Met Office alerts have been issued for parts of Yorkshire today, tomorrow and into Monday as further bands of Atlantic storms cross the UK.

The rain will increase the threat of flooding in areas already hard-hit by downpours and is likely to mean 2012 will be the wettest year in the UK since records began in 1910.

Forecasters said rain lasting into today would hit north Wales and north west England hardest but further rain was due tomorrow and into New Year’s Eve.

A Met Office spokesman said: “River and ground water levels remain high. As a result, the Environment Agency is working with local authorities and emergency services to prepare for possible flooding from rivers, groundwater and surface water across the country over the weekend.”

High aquifer and underground water levels coupled with water flowing off fields have been blamed for persistent flooding problems in the village of Burton Fleming in the East Riding, while high water levels have also led to problems in Stutton in North Yorkshire.

Five flood warnings remained in place last night in the region along the rivers Derwent and Ouse in North Yorkshire and the river Hull in the East Riding.

Other parts of the country are also still hit by flooding amid concerns over the risk of landslides.

A freight train derailment at Barrow-upon-Soar in Leicestershire is continuing to cause disruption to rail services between Sheffield and London. A revised evening and early morning timetable will be in operation until early on January 1 as Network Rail carries out emergency work to remove the train. The derailment led to the closure of the route between Leicester and Loughborough.

East Midland Trains said the last train to Sheffield will run from London St Pancras at 6.25pm, with bus services in place from Leicester after 8pm. Southbound services will be reduced after 4.30pm.

A Network Rail spokesman said: “This is a complicated recovery operation, but every effort will be made to limit disruption to passengers as much as possible.”

The main West Country route between Exeter and Tiverton reopened yesterday but some branch lines in Devon and Cornwall remain shut due to flooding.