No end to downpours say forecasters

The worst of the weather may have passed but forecasters are warning there will be no respite from the wet this week as flood-hit communities across the UK count the cost of recent torrential downpours.

Many homes were left under water over the weekend and one driver died when his car left the road after a month's worth of rain fell in just 24 hours in many parts of the country.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman met flood victims in Devon, where a huge clean-up operation was under way after the area saw the worst of the bad weather.

Matt Dobson, senior forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said England and Wales were unlikely to see any sunny weather during the next 10 days, although the forecast for Monday is more promising.

Mr Dobson said: "Today we are looking at more scattered showers but it should be a little bit better than it has been over the past few days. Looking ahead it is a very unsettled week with no respite from the wet weather.

"There will be heavy downpours tomorrow and Thursday, particularly across England and Wales, and no sign of any sunny weather for the next 10 days."

Mr Dobson said scattered heavy showers were affecting east Wales and the West Midlands, with heavy thunderstorms over Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Heavy showers will hit London and the south coast, and there will be a risk of thunderstorms over central and eastern England, he said.

The Environment Agency still has 89 flood alerts and 14 flood warnings in place, but the Met Office has no weather warnings currently issued for the UK.

But there is one piece of good news - the incessant rain has finally spelled the end of the hosepipe ban. The final four water companies with bans announced they are lifting them with immediate effect.

South East Water, Sutton and East Surrey Water, Veolia Water Central and Veolia Water Southeast said the restrictions that have been in place since early April have now ended following the "abnormally heavy rainfall" that has deluged much of the country.