December 23, 2019
Eighty flood warnings remain in place on Monday morning after a weekend of downpours left parts of the south of England flooded. 
Devastating Floods Hit Homes In South Of England Just Days Before Christmas
Pictures released on Sunday show desperate homeowners attempting to shield their homes in the days before Christmas, cars passing through high water, and people in a Kent caravan park being evacuated by dinghy. 
A yellow weather warning was in place across the south of the country for much of the weekend, following heavy rain during the week. Conditions are expected to improve on Monday, with little rain forecast, but in addition to the 80 flood warnings, 192 areas – stretching from the Lake District to the south coast – are still under Environment Agency flood alerts with residents being advised to plan accordingly. 
About 90 properties were flooded over the course of the weekend – about 60 in the South East and around 30 in Devon and Cornwall.
The Environment Agency has advised people to stay away from swollen rivers and not to drive through standing water as just 30cm of flowing flood water is enough to flood a car.This autumn rainfall records were broken for South Yorkshire, Nottingham and Lincolnshire, and the country as a whole saw its fifth wettest autumn since records began. The Met Office’s national outlook for the Christmas week ahead suggests there will be less in the way of rainfall, although spells of rain will arrive in parts of Scotland, Northern Ireland, and the far north of England. 
Elsewhere, the majority of regions will remain dry with sunny spells and early showers in western parts of England and Wales gradually fading. Some rain in Cornwall is expected later in the day, with windy conditions. 
Overnight clouds are expected to gather, bringing rain to much of England and Wales and showers in the south of the UK and parts of Scotland. There’ll also be some freezing fog in parts of Scotland. 
The Met Office has forecast rain for northern and central England, as well as north Wales, on Christmas Eve, with wind and showers in the south. 
The big day itself is forecast to be cold and bright, but becoming more unsettled throughout Boxing Day as rain and strong winds push east. By Friday it’s likely to be mild and cloudy, with rain mostly concentrated in the north west. Meanwhile, a group of politicians from flood-stricken regions of the UK have called on the government to invest in better flood defenced and set up a new emergency response unit, The Guardian reported.
Leaders from northern areas hit by November’s severe floods told the paper that they wanted to see a “Cobra for the north” established. They also said there was a need for “multimillion-pound investment” for flood defences to avoid a “catastrophe of the same scale” happening again.Dan Jarvis, the elected mayor of the Sheffield City Region, told The Guardian that the government needed to establish a “Cobra for the north” that would be chaired by a cabinet minister and kick into action as soon as floods hit the region.
Cobra is the government’s emergency response committee made up of ministers, civil servants, the police, intelligence officers and others appropriate officials.
Jarvis said the PM had privately agreed to help convene a dedicated emergency response group to react quicker to flooding after he was criticised for his slow response to the devastation,  and added the new unit should be chaired by communities secretary Robert Jenrick.
The army was called in to assist stricken communities after towns and villages around Doncaster and Sheffield, and parts of the Midlands, were drenched by heavy downpours last month.Doncaster Council said more than 900 homes and businesses in the town were affected by the rain earlier this month.Simon Greaves, Labour leader of Bassetlaw Council, also told The Guardian that the system of allocating funding to flood defences was “rigged against” places such as Worksop in Nottinghamshire.
He added: “It would be a scandal if the government response to this crisis is simply devoted to a mopping-up exercise and a grant here and a grant there when actually there are people’s homes that need to be saved from flooding in the future.
“There will be a need for multimillion pound-investment for flood defences without any doubt if we’re going to avoid a catastrophe of the same scale.”
A Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs spokesperson said: “Recent flooding in Yorkshire had terrible consequences for people and businesses.
“This is why we are investing record amounts to help protect communities across the nation from the threat of flooding, using both natural flood management techniques and traditional defences.
“We spend money where it is needed most – with similar funding heading to high-risk areas across both the North and South of England.”Related... Eight Dead As Storm Elsa Batters Europe 'As Bad As It Gets': Australian Bushfires Reach 'Catastrophic' Levels There's Been A Norovirus Outbreak – Here's What You Need To Know
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