As it happened: Severe UK weather continues

Key Points

  • Fourteen severe flood warnings are in place in Berkshire and Surrey, while two remain in Somerset
  • Forecasters are warning of snow in many parts of the UK, with high winds, heavy rain and further snow forecast for tomorrow
  • Prime Minister David Cameron tells a Downing Street press conference "money is no object in this relief effort"
  • A Cabinet committee to oversee the recovery will be set up and the PM will chair first meeting on Thursday
  • About 1,000 homes have been evacuated along the River Thames, with thousands more at risk of flooding
  • The M2 motorway is closed in both directions in north Kent after a 15ft-deep pothole opened up in the central reservation
  1.  
    05:27:

    Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of more severe weather affecting parts of the UK. We will bring the latest updates in text, video and audio as the situation develops.

     
  2.  
    05:32:

    Fourteen severe flood warnings are in place in Berkshire and Surrey, while two remain in Somerset. It follows the evacuation of homes along the River Thames on Monday with a warning that thousands more were at risk.

     
  3.  
    05:40:

    The board members of the Environment Agency have given their full backing to their embattled chairman Lord Smith, says the BBC's Environment analyst, Roger Harrabin. It comes after the prime minister, the chancellor and stand-in floods minister Eric Pickles all declined to offer support to Lord Smith on Monday.

     
  4.  
    05:41:

    The letter reads: "Throughout the many incidents of recent years, the agency's board has been consistently impressed by the professionalism, commitment and resilience of staff, managers and directors - and never more so than in last two months." It says criticism of the board "is ill-informed and unfair - and we particularly deplore the personal nature of some of it".

     
  5.  
    Datchet, Berkshire A total of 10,000 sandbags have been distributed in the village of Datchet, Berkshire
     
  6.  
    05:50:

    Les Dodd, from the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, says the emergency services are "still experiencing quite a large volume of calls from the elderly requiring our assistance". He adds: "That is either for rescues from the flood water or evacuation from the properties that are at risk."

     
  7.  
    05:59:
    Daily Mail front page

    A number of Tuesday's front pages focus on flooding. The Daily Mail has launched a petition urging ministers to divert some of the UK's foreign aid budget to "the floods crisis". See our round-up of the papers for more.

     
  8.  
    06:10:

    David Cameron will continue visiting flood-hit areas of south-west England later. The prime minister missed a Commons vote on a ban on smoking in cars when children are passengers because of the tour.

     
  9.  
    Samantha Norris

    tweets: seriously don't know how much more rainfall #Somerset can take ... although true #SomersetCommunitySpirit is stronger than ever before

     
  10.  
    David Cameron meets those affected by floods in Cornwall, Devon Mr Cameron visited flood-hit towns including Kingsand, Cornwall, on Monday
     
  11.  
    Tim Horner

    emails: Never mind the foreign aid budget, let's use the HS2 money to rebuild our roads and rail system destroyed by this year's weather and the last 30 years' neglect.

     
  12.  
    Nicky Homer

    tweets: Another stormy start to the day in #Somerset so let's hope those already affected by #somersetfloods haven't suffered too much overnight

     
  13.  
    06:33:

    Flooding is continuing to affect train services west of London and passengers are advised to check rail services before travelling.

     
  14.  
    06:35:

    Kevin Groves from Network Rail says train routes through Maidenhead in Berkshire are most at risk: "We're seeing groundwater come up as well as flood water come across and that combination just means there's nowhere for it to go."

     
  15.  
    Surrey Police

    tweets: @surreypolice HQ & all agencies working through the night to co-ordinate flood response

     
  16.  
    06:40:

    Surrey Police said the major incident team was overwhelmed with 999 calls overnight. The force is urging people to only call in an emergency.

     
  17.  
    06:43:

    The Red Cross has deployed teams along the Thames and in the Somerset Levels to help vulnerable people affected by the flooding. The charity's Juliet Mountford says: "We're also making sure that we're transporting a lot of the basics like food and fuel, post, making sure that deliveries get through."

     
  18.  
    Hammy

    tweets: The sweet sound of almost no trains since half of surrey is flooded

     
  19.  
    Ash Bailey

    tweets: Supposed to be going to London. Train terminated at Reading due to floods at Maidenhead.

     
  20.  
    06:57:

    There has been an escalating political row over how ready the UK was for the floods. Watch Environment Agency chairman Chris Smith defend himself on Newsnight.

    Jeremy Paxman and Chris Smith on Newsnight
     
  21.  
    Buds Office Plants

    tweets: Great to see people pulling together as a community to assist those affected by #flood up and down the #thames

     
  22.  
    07:02:

    There are also two warnings of snow for today - covering Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland - and a warning of ice for Northern Ireland.

     
  23.  
    James Malone

    tweets: Train to Reading, same train back to Newbury. #floods #nowork #nolondontrains

     
  24.  
    07:05:

    Visit the BBC's travel news page for the latest traffic and travel updates where you are.

     
  25.  
    07:11:

    David McKnight from the Environment Agency says the Surrey and Guildford areas have had about 20mm of rain over the last 24 hours. "That's going to be making its way into the local watercourses and the bigger tributaries of the Thames and then finally into the Thames over the next day or so," he says.

     
  26.  
    07:17:

    David McKnight says the Environment Agency will keep a close eye on how those watercourses respond to the latest rainfall and will be issuing more flood alerts and flood warnings accordingly.

     
  27.  
    @BBCSurrey

    FLOODS: 500+ #Surrey roads affected by #surreyfloods this morning say @SurreyPolice

     
  28.  
    07:19:

    The Environment Agency is urging people affected by the floods to call its Floodline on 0345 988 1188 or 0845 988 1188, or visit its website.

     
  29.  
    Pamela

    tweets: Berkshire residents complaining aboout lack of help now know what Somerset suffered for SEVEN weeks. #flooding

     
  30.  
    Alex Boddy

    emails: Laughable and disgusting that politicians are using people's lives and livelihoods as ammunition in a cheap row. Unite and help just like the communities around the country have had to thanks to the appalling response from those leading.

     
  31.  
    Norman Smith

    The BBC's chief political correspondent tweets: No 10 say PM "impressed" by "community spirit..and people pulling together" in response to #floods crisis

     
  32.  
    07:26:

    Coastal communities in Wales face being abandoned as rising sea levels mean the cost of maintaining defences can no longer be justified, BBC Wales reports

    Fairbourne in Gwynedd is one of 50 communities at risk
     
  33.  
    07:27:

    The BBC's Norman Smith reports the prime minister has been struck by the way people were "pulling together".

     
  34.  
    07:28:

    Norman Smith reports Mr Cameron is keen to hear from residents about what practical help they need. He wants to understand the "micro problems" families face on the ground, like getting hold of sandbags.

     
  35.  
    07:29:

    Labour leader Ed Miliband is due to visit flood victims in the Thames Valley area later today.

     
  36.  
    07:30:

    The Environment Agency says up to 400 homes in Surrey are "completely waterlogged".

     
  37.  
    Alan Barrier EA

    Alan from the Environment Agency's forecasting and response team at the Thames Barrier tweets: We are preparing to close the #ThamesBarrier this morning from 08.00 - 13.00.

     
  38.  
    07:40:

    Aerial images show the extent of flooding in the Somerset Levels, where around 65 square miles are submerged. Here we take a look at how locals are coping.

    Somerset Levels
     
  39.  
    Grace Alexander

    tweets: Cold, heavy, miserable rain in Somerset again. Very short dog walk this morning. Thinking of those on the Levels.

     
  40.  
    Richard Bryant-Jeffries

    emails: Pity the politicians can't pull together like so-called 'ordinary' people - we could do with better people and less 'Party' in politics in this country.

     
  41.  
    07:43:

    UKIP leader Nigel Farage tells BBC Surrey: "We would be better relying on volunteers than the county council."

     
  42.  
    07:45:

    Chief Superintendent Matt Twist, borough commander for the flooded areas in north Surrey, describes the floods as "bad, a major incident".

     
  43.  
    Tony Jackson

    tweets: Poor people in Somerset can be forgiven for feeling aggrieved about difference in response to them and then to Berks/Surrey #r4today #floods

     
  44.  
    07:47:

    Chief Supt Twist from Surrey Police says 2,500 homes are at risk and more than 500 roads affected.

     
  45.  
    07:51:

    The impact of the storms has raised serious questions about the resilience of the UK's transport system in bad weather. Allan Urray from Radio 4's File on 4 examines whether the UK's transport networks can cope.

    Railway lines in the Berkshire village of Datchet
     
  46.  
    07:52:

    Chief Supt Twist is urging people in the affected areas in Surrey to leave their homes before their situation becomes an emergency.

     
  47.  
    07:52:

    Chief Supt Twist says: "Extra police have been drafted in. Police are going house to house, and protecting properties from criminal activity. We have extra boats and 4x4s from other police and military to help and protect against crime."

     
  48.  
    Jenny Rosborough

    tweeted this picture of Walton-on-Thames at lunchtime yesterday.

    Walton-on-Thames, 10 February. Photo: Jenny Rosborough
     
  49.  
    08:02:

    The River Severn in Ironbridge and Bridgnorth is to peak at between 4.6 and 4.8 metres on Wednesday afternoon, according to the Environment Agency.

     
  50.  
    Sarah Ransome

    The BBC South West reporter tweets: Back in #Dawlish as repairs continue on the severed rail link .. Arc lights glint in the distance as engineers work between the high tides

     
  51.  
    BBC Scotland Weather

    tweets: This was scene on the A83 at the Rest and Be Thankful, 10 mins ago (7:37am). #snow. Via @trafficscotland

    Snow on A83 in Scotland
     
  52.  
    Ali Payne

    tweets: I'm on a train! There are trains leaving Maidenhead. Whoop!

     
  53.  
    Serena Martin

    from BBC Radio Oxford has been tweeting pictures of the floods in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, this morning, including this image of a submerged meadow.

    Submerged meadow in Abingdon. Photo: Serena Martin
     
  54.  
    Meena Ram

    tweets: On a train to #slough need to get to #maidenhead .. Wonder if that's possible

     
  55.  
    David Weston

    tweets: 7wks of #floods in W County= No Govt response. 1 day of flooding in Berkshire and it's raining sandbags. Ministers in wellies.

     
  56.  
    Rosemary

    emails from London: Distressing to see comments suggesting that 'now people in Surrey know what it's like'. I can't see how schadenfreude helps anyone. So many people doing so much to help others. Please let's not turn on one another.

     
  57.  
    08:15:

    Surrey Police are saying they have 100 officers knocking on doors and providing practical support to residents.

     
  58.  
    John Want

    tweets: V. Long queues on Ashford Road coming up to Fordbridge r'about. It is moving tho and bypass to A30 OK. #staines #floods

     
  59.  
    08:22:

    Defence Secretary Philip Hammond tells Radio 4's Today the government "can't always intervene to prevent the course of nature".

     
  60.  
    08:26:

    So just why is it so wet and windy?

    Waves lash into Surfside Cafe at Caswell Bay, Wales, January 4th 2014
     
  61.  
    Sarah Spink

    tweets: Any recommendations where to get sandbags from in #Newbury #westberks please as some people in low lying parts of village at risk of #floods

     
  62.  
    08:27:

    Philip Hammond says now is not the time for "recriminations or discussions of who did what when". He says questions about the government's response can be addressed later.

     
  63.  
    08:29:

    Environment Agency generator protecting homes from flooding in Bewdley, Worcs, has been stolen, BBC Hereford & Worcester reports

     
  64.  
    08:30:

    The defence secretary says: "I want to work with the Environment Agency and all the senior officials there, including Lord Smith, to get the best result we can for the people who are facing this terrible crisis."

     
  65.  
    08:31:

    Mr Hammond tells Radio 4's Today programme the challenge right now is "delivering help on the ground".

     
  66.  
    Hannah Jensen

    tweets: Left Staines at 7:15, took an hour to get to Walton as expected. River moving a lot faster than the traffic!

     
  67.  
    08:32:

    Mr Hammond says he has been told there is "some hope" that levels on the Thames are reaching their peak now.

     
  68.  
    08:34:

    The defence secretary says there is a proper debate to be had about dredging, but the issue at the moment is about getting help to people.

     
  69.  
    08:36:

    Philip Hammond tells Radio 4's Today programme the government "has got a grip" on the situation, the emergency services are properly organised and the military has been mobilised.

     
  70.  
    Andy McConkey

    emails: Not to belittle what people in the SW have been going through, there are tens to hundreds of properties affected in the SW, thousands to tens of thousands affected in Surrey and greater London. Hence why the difference in attention.

     
  71.  
    08:40:

    Fresh supplies of sandbags on their way to Wraysbury Primary School, where volunteers will help distribute them to local residents. Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead council says deliveries also en route to Datchet and other parts of the borough.

     
  72.  
    Christine Castle

    emails: My husband works at SMC car dealership in Datchet. Yesterday at 6am he got a text from his boss to advise of the floods and bring in welly boots. They spent the day moving cars to other sites, but also helping residents in what ever way they could; using their 4x4s to move sandbags to the "correct" areas, again helping residents with the sand bags... He came home absolutely knackered.

     
  73.  
    08:41:

    "The assets that are needed from across the nation have been mobilised for the areas affected," Mr Hammond says.

     
  74.  
    08:42:

    Philip Hammond confirms local authorities can spend what they need in dealing with their emergency response and will be reimbursed by the government.

     
  75.  
    08:44:

    More than 20 homes flooded in Colnbrook near Slough. Concerned residents urged to call the council's flooding helpline on 01753 875823.

     
  76.  
    08:45:

    The defence secretary says local authorities are faced with continued pressure for new housing in southern England, which is largely flat and therefore at greater risk of flooding.

     
  77.  
    08:47:

    Allana Burns, who lives in Chertsey, tells Radio 4's Today that people there are feeling abandoned after all the emergency crews pulled out yesterday afternoon.

     
  78.  
    Victoria Derbyshire

    Tweets: Am at David's house in Slough; jst under a ft of water in his home. Began flooding 9 days ago-no help yet

    Slough
     
  79.  
    Lost

    tweets: Been going under 25 mph the whole way from Worcester to Pershore

     
  80.  
    08:52:

    Chertsey resident Allana Burns says: "We've just been left with nothing, very little information. You can't get anything from anywhere."

     
  81.  
    08:52:

    First Great Western is urging people to only travel on trains between London and the West Country if absolutely necessary because of flooding in the Thames Valley.

     
  82.  
    National Express

    tweets: All services are running, although due to weather conditions they may be subject to delays. Track your coach here.

     
  83.  
    08:58:

    The BBC's Sam Wilson is in Shepperton, Surrey, where Darren Fuller, 48, was trying to take his dog Lenny to the vet

    Darren Fuller and dog Lenny
     
  84.  
    09:02:

    Howard Davidson, regional director for the Environment Agency, is in Datchet where he told BBC Radio Berkshire that river levels on the lower Thames are looking as if they will stabilise today.

     
  85.  
    09:03: Ben Avery

    has taken this shot of Datchet this morning, where High Street and Queens Road have been blocked off.

    Datchet in floods. Photo: Ben Avery
     
  86.  
    09:07:

    Responding to media reports of looting in flood-hit areas, local area commander for Windsor & Maidenhead, Supt Kate Ford seeks to reassure that this is not the case. "There has been no looting," she tells BBC Radio Berkshire.

     
  87.  
    Sarah Jones

    tweets: #flooding in #Maidenhead causing severe disruption to train services to and from #Paddington.

     
  88.  
    09:08:

    Windsor MP Adam Afriyie, whose constituency includes parts that have been severely flooded, tells BBC Radio Berkshire people want more help.

     
  89.  
    09:09:

    Mr Afriyie says: "There's a clear feeling out there, and there was last night when I was there, that there isn't enough visible support, perhaps from the armed services, perhaps not so much visible support from the police."

     
  90.  
    09:10: Sammy Hill

    has snapped her garden in Wraysbury from her kitchen window this morning.

    Flooding in Wraysbury. Photo: Sammy Hill
     
  91.  
    09:12:

    Meanwhile in Scotland, drivers are being urged to take care as sleet and snow causes tricky road conditions.

     
  92.  
    Sonia Kapur Talbutt

    tweets: Great to hear about the community spirit in home village of #datchet and neighbouring #Wraysbury. You do not get this living in #London!

     
  93.  
    nwaseufood

    tweets: datchet no trains maidenhead only 2 trains running into paddington

     
  94.  
    09:21:

    David Cameron has arrived in Dawlish to survey the damage

     
  95.  
    09:23:

    This Environment Agency map gives an idea of the scale of flood risk in Surrey and Berkshire.

    Floods map
     
  96.  
    Aaron Singh

    Emails: I have lived in Wraysbury my whole life and it's never been this bad... I came back to our family home with some volunteers and worked all day, into the night trying to make flood defences with sheets of wood, plastic and moving furniture upstairs as best as we can. We've received no real help other than one boat passing asking us to evacuate. They say they'll send sandbags but it's too little, too late.

     
  97.  
    09:30:

    The prime minister meets locals in Dawlish and visits some of the town's worst-hit parts.

    David Cameron in Dawlish
     
  98.  
    Mrs Langridge

    Emails from Witney: It's fantastic to see communities all working to help each other, but why do we have to blame the Government for not rushing to our aid all the time? I suspect because we now have a slight tendency to expect help and want to blame someone, and typically the media are milking it.

     
  99.  
    Janet Lightbody

    emails from Surrey: The government has lost the plot. It's taken them weeks to get their fingers out. All those poor people that have lost everything.

     
  100.  
    09:37:

    Mr Cameron (centre) talks to members of the Dawlish community about the devastation caused by flooding.

    David Cameron with members of Dawlish community
     
  101.  
    09:38:

    Meanwhile Labour leader Ed Miliband is in Berkshire to view the recent flooding.

    Labour leader Ed Miliband in Purley on Thames
     
  102.  
    Luke in Berkshire

    Emails: I understand peoples' anger at being flooded, but that is not going to help... Councils are doing their best, and the Government is putting more money into areas that will have a higher economic impact if damaged - all the finger-pointing is not going to get us anywhere at the moment, no one is trying to worsen the issue.

     
  103.  
    09:40:

    The prime minister uses a smartphone to watch scenes of flooding in Dawlish.

    David Cameron
     
  104.  
    09:44:

    The BBC's Michael Hirst reports the prime minister is inspecting repair work on the collapsed railway line at Dawlish.

     
  105.  
    09:45:

    Mayor of Dawlish Terry Lowther told the BBC his message for the PM was simple: "Just because the line's down doesn't mean we're closed for business.

    "And the impact of the line being down goes to show how many people rely on it - we don't want the line moved from Dawlish!"

     
  106.  
    09:47: Tim Ashburner

    has been speaking to the BBC about the flooding in Marlow, where he presents a local community breakfast show.

    "If I was sitting in my chair in the studio today the water would be coming up to my waist.

    "There's a lot of anger here. The Environment Agency refused to speak to us. The only the way the river can now move is sideways."

     
  107.  
    Doreen Parsons

    Emails from Shepperton: We were originally flooded on 8 January and again on Friday 7 February - this time the flooding is worse than the first time! However, your reporters are continually featuring Wraysbury on every news.

     
  108.  
    MakeDigitalWork

    tweets: Sitting in twyford trying to get to London #floods on the track in maidenhead

     
  109.  
    09:51:

    The BBC's Sam Wilson is in Shepperton where homeowners are anxiously watching the rising river levels

    Shepperton
     
  110.  
    Helen Purvis

    tweets: Train manager says we're going to be moving through #flood hit area of Maidenhead 'sporodically'. Looking forward to that.

     
  111.  
    09:55:

    There are still 16 severe flood warnings in place, 133 flood warnings and 225 flood alerts, the Environment Agency says.

    Flood warning map
     
  112.  
    Sarah Ransome

    The BBC's reporter in the South West tweets: David Cameron is talking to workers & councillors about the impact of the severed mainline rail link into the South West #Dawlish

     
  113.  
    White Bus Services

    tweets: Tuesday 11 February 2014. P1 Park and Ride and Datchet Extension Suspended.

     
  114.  
    Barra Best

    BBC weather presenter Barra Best tweets: Here's the most likely track of the storm coming tomorrow. Some very strong winds in places. #stormireland #ukstorm

    UK map depicting tomorrow's wind track
     
  115.  
    Daniel Maudsley

    tweets: Taxi queue at Slough was 30 people long! These floods are making all the trains cancelled!

     
  116.  
    Sophie Pierce

    The BBC Radio Devon reporter tweets: Prime Minister visits Dawlish Station to see damage for himself

    David Cameron surveys flood damage
     
  117.  
    10:08:

    Police officers from Sussex, including some on their days off, have gone to Surrey with boats and 4x4s to help those in need, BBC Surrey reports

     
  118.  
    Martin Parks

    tweets: Cycled through Thames Ditton & Molesey this morning. The roads were OK. I think it's the houses right on the river that are suffering

     
  119.  
    Tom Martienssen

    tweets: The #ukfloods are rising here in Datchet, tensions are high but we've heard 10,000 more sandbags are on the way

     
  120.  
    H-J

    tweets: Been on the bus for well over an hour & haven't even done half of my 25 min journey! The floods need to go away now so the roads can reopen!

     
  121.  
    10:15:

    In Shropshire the situation in Ironbridge is described by the local council as "serious". Coalbrookdale and Ironbridge schools are being closed and parents advised to collect their children, BBC Radio Shropshire reports.

     
  122.  
    10:15:

    The BBC's Ben Brown, in Wraysbury in Berkshire, says: "This flooding in Wraysbury is like something out of a horror movie."

    Ben Brown
     
  123.  
    Paul in Wolverhampton

    emails: Snow falling here now - but I think we drain to the Trent rather than the Severn or Thames . Hope that river doesn't start to give problems too. The only thing to look for is pulling together to make the best of it. The media are the main blame-mongers.

     
  124.  
    10:18:

    The BBC's Ben Brown says the people of Wraysbury never expected the water levels to rise as quickly as they did. " They are angry and very distressed," he says.

     
  125.  
    10:19:

    A lorry load of sand has just arrived in Wraysbury, Ben Brown reports. "That's what local residents have been pleading for, to protect their homes and businesses," he says.

     
  126.  
    10:21:

    The BBC's Daniel Boettcher in Maidenhead said some people were forced to wait up to an hour and a half for buses due to travel disruption.

     
  127.  
    10:24:

    The BBC's Sam Wilson in Shepperton visits 69-year-old Ernest Floate who is awaiting news on rising river levels.

    Shepperton resident Ernest Floate
     
  128.  
    10:24:

    The BBC's Daniel Boettcher says: "Travel operators are telling passengers to check before they travel, and in some cases, to not travel at all unless they have to."

     
  129.  
    10:25: Georgia Fletcher

    has been forced to leave her home in Wraysbury.

    "It's not good here. Normally you can get down the road in just waders but it's too deep now. The water is up to the top of my thigh," she tells the BBC. "I can't get anywhere near Wraysbury. We had sandbags delivered yesterday.

    "It's distressing not being able to get back to your own house. My bedroom is on the ground floor. You don't know what you're going to come back to."

     
  130.  
    10:26: Kerry R

    has taken this picture of her Nan and Grandad being evacuated from Penton Hook, Surrey.

    Evacuees in Penton Hook. Photo: Kerry R
     
  131.  
    10:28:

    Magician Paul Daniels, has now left his home in Wargrave, Berks, which is surrounded by water but not actually flooded.

    "I put the waders on, I pulled Debbie out in a dinghy. It's not the water so much as the current. It's trying to take the shortest route."

     
  132.  
    10:29:

    The water is lapping at the door of Mike Berwick's house in Chertsey Lane, Staines. He has moved all his valuables upstairs but says: "We're all very stressed."

     
  133.  
    Philip Bragg

    tweets: Eton is only cut off from Datchet by road and Waterloo by rail, still possible to drive to Slough/eton wick or walk to Windsor.

     
  134.  
    10:31:

    Staines resident Mike Berwick says: "We have been watching the water coming up for days. It is the creeping inevitability of it all that is the worst bit."

    He adds that he blames "50 years of neglect, not five weeks of rain".

     
  135.  
    Nicky Gale

    tweets: Just driven to Worcester the dual track has lots of surface water from the fields take care guys

     
  136.  
    glasto

    tweets: Very stormy here in Somerset, driving rain, very windy, a lot of surface water on roads, take care folks not good at all!!!

     
  137.  
    10:36:
  138.  
    10:40:

    Here is a quick BBC guide to what the Met Office's different weather warnings mean.

     
  139.  
    10:47:

    This picture from Network Rail's Kevin Groves helps explain why the signalling near Maidenhead is out.

    "This is groundwater flooding and it proved impossible to prevent damage to signalling equipment."

    Rail flooding
     
  140.  
    Sandy Todd

    Emails: We have been using a dinghy and outboard to get up the road from our house for a week. Kids love it, needless to say I am not so keen.

     
  141.  
    10:51:

    A BBC archive picture gallery explores Dawlish railway's stormy past.

    Railway at Dawlish in 1853
     
  142.  
    Vic Sall

    tweets: #datchet sandbags are being given out outside village hall. Convoy of vehicles bringing about 50 odd bags every 15 mins or so at present

     
  143.  
    Katie Underwood

    tweets: So there's torrential rain and floods in Worcester.. and snow in Stourbridge.. this weather is bizarre

     
  144.  
    TVP Windsor

    Thames Valley Police Windsor tweets: Vans are getting loaded with sand bags and heading out to the local area #Wraysbury #floods

    Vans being loaded with sandbags
     
  145.  
    Susanne Courtney

    tweets: Wraysbury people are amazing. Fact.

    And tweets an image from the relief effort in the town.

     
  146.  
    11:03:

    Volunteers help residents brave the floods in Purley on Thames

    Purley on Thames
     
  147.  
    Public Health England

    tweets: If you've been flooded do not use petrol or diesel generators indoors due to risk of carbon monoxide poisoning

     
  148.  
    11:04:

    Public Health England issues advice on how to cope with flooding.

     
  149.  
    11:06:

    In Wraysbury Jo Samuel Blackstock is helped from her house after the Thames flooded the village

    Jo Samuel Blackstock in Wraysbury
     
  150.  
    Carla Delaney

    Emails: I am horrified to learn my former neighbours at Mill End Hambleden are coping with raw sewage as the river rises - something they have to fight virtually alone. Down the road at Marlow the Red Cross are geared up to help people being evacuated and one of the churches is bailing out... All the news focus has been on Somerset until this week when news crews concentrate on Wraysbury, yet people are suffering downriver with very little emergency help - neighbours helping neighbours. They feel abandoned.

     
  151.  
    11:13:

    Mr Cameron says: "Everybody needs to get on with the vital work of bringing all of the nation's resources to get our road and rail moving, to help people who have been flooded, to plan for the future and learn from the lessons of the very difficult situation we are in."

     
  152.  
    Sam

    emails: Heavy snow has now hit Nottingham!

     
  153.  
    11:15: Alice Paice

    tells the BBC she is relying on friends and the local sports centre in Lower Sunbury.

    "The water level is still rising! We have had no contact from anyone about the flood other then the automatic warning service," she says. "Two of our neighbours have now had to move out. We have been given no assistance from our local council or the emergency services and our ground floor is covered in water.

    "We're surrounded by hardy river folk making the best out of it. Our ground floor is under water - just below the waist. We have no shower or washing machine.

    "Luckily we have lovely friends who are helping us and we're going to the sports club with the kids to shower there.

    "We don't get any updates. We haven't had anyone going past or checking in. Our road has set up a little ferry to get to and from the house. The currents are getting stronger. We've been without heating since January, when we were first flooded."

     
  154.  
    Worcester City Council

    tweets: Despite what you may have seen or heard, Worcester is #open4business. Trains and most buses running OK, the majority of roads are open

     
  155.  
    11:19:

    Prime Minister David Cameron in Dawlish says it was important for him to see first hand the devastation caused by flooding.

     
  156.  
    11:20:

    BBC transport correspondent Richard Westcott advises Paddington to Slough train travellers that an hourly three-carriage shuttle service will run in both directions.

     
  157.  
    Abellio Surrey

    tweets: Route 458 is currently experiencing delays of up to 40 minutes. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience caused by local flooding.

     
  158.  
    11:25:

    The Paddington to Oxford line will see local stopping services operate between Twyford and Didcot Parkway only. Connecting services to Paddington will be extremely limited, while services will run hourly between Didcot and Oxford. First Great Western's travel advice here.

     
  159.  
    11:26:

    Rail customers wanting to travel from Oxford to London may find it easier to travel via Banbury into London Marylebone, where FGW tickets will be valid, says the BBC's Richard Westcott.

     
  160.  
    Kath

    tweets: I hate getting the Waterloo train - it goes everywhere! Now on way to Staines.

     
  161.  
    Andrew Plant

    The BBC journalist tweets: East Lyng this morning, on the Somerset Levels. The worst I've seen in the past seven weeks. That's a front door.

    Flooded garden
     
  162.  
    Rob in Warwickshire

    emails: I'm still shocked by people trying to apportion blame! If the River Thames, perhaps the most controlled and managed waterway in the country, has flooded then it suggests that the quantity of water deposited on the southern UK was beyond human control.

     
  163.  
    11:34:

    One of Oxford's main routes is shut for the second time in a month due to flooding.

    Abingdon Road in Oxford
     
  164.  
    11:40:

    The prime minister is expected to chair another meeting of Cobra at Westminster this evening, BBC chief political correspondent Norman Smith says.

     
  165.  
    11:41:

    David Cameron will also continue visiting flood affected areas over the next few days.

     
  166.  
    11:41: Kaushal Trivedi

    sends in this picture of a car submerged on Lovett Road in Staines.

    Submerged car in Staines. Photo: Kaushal Trivedi
     
  167.  
    11:43:

    Coach company National Express says demand for some of its routes has increased by 200% and pledges to meet this by "adding extra seats and services as necessary".

     
  168.  
    11:44:

    The prime minister's spokesman says the visits demonstrated "at the very highest level of government, the government is determined to understand the full impact of the storms".

     
  169.  
    Roy Miles

    emails: The current wave of poor weather is causing very severe road conditions between Bromsgrove and Kidderminster with the road overwhelmed in Chaddersley Corbett. The river Severn at Bewdley is very high now, looks likely to be the highest level for many years.

     
  170.  
    11:46:

    The BBC's Norman Smith also reports that Communities Secretary Eric Pickles is understood to be making a visit to Oxfordshire later today to visit flood victims.

     
  171.  
    11:48:
  172.  
    11:51:

    Residents in part of Ironbridge should "consider moving to the first floor" or leaving their properties until further notice, Telford and Wrekin Council says.

     
  173.  
    11:54:

    Turning to social media, a Facebook page has been set up to connect those affected in the Maidenhead area

     
  174.  
    British Army

    tweets: More troops mobilised to help #flooding relief. Soldiers fill 1000+ sandbags at Chievley Depot

    Soldiers fill sandbags
     
  175.  
    Brian Levine

    emails: Hopefully this dreadful situation will lead to the Government funding the restoration of existing disused canals and the canals currently undergoing restoration through volunteer and National Lottery funding. The potential for using these canals to aid the control of water levels needs to be fully investigated and utilised.

     
  176.  
    Jessica Jade Wright

    tweets this picture of the only road into Staines earlier this morning.

    Staines traffic. Photo: Jessica Jade Wright
     
  177.  
    12:11: Doreen Parsons and Debbie Eastman

    are a mother and daughter living along the same road in flooded Shepperton.

    "We were originally flooded on 8 January, and then again on Friday 7 February," they tell the BBC. "This time the flooding is worse than the first time.

    "Water is coming through our floorboards. We are using the portable loos now. We have been given sandbags."

     
  178.  
    12:14:

    The military are on the ground to help. Here soldiers from the Royal Engineers pull a boat through floodwaters in Thames Meadow near Shepperton

    Royal Engineers in Shepperton
     
  179.  
    12:15:

    Labour leader Ed Miliband, speaking on a visit to flood-hit Wraysbury, in Berkshire, said the government needed to take flood prevention seriously, adding: "The costs of not acting are much greater than the costs of acting."

     
  180.  
    12:21:

    Thames Valley Police say there is major disruption to the road and rail network and urge motorists and residents not to ignore road closures or take unnecessary risks.

     
  181.  
    Sharon Kendrick

    tweets: That's an expression I never thought I'd hear on national telly..."The troops are now out in Wraysbury"

     
  182.  
    Jem Garstin

    tweets: Nice to see the Army outside my house. Lets hope they're also in Wraysbury and other towns #flooding

     
  183.  
    British Red Cross

    tweets: In #Wraysbury we have two 4x4 crews deployed to take affected housebound residents to care homes. #UKfloods

     
  184.  
    12:28:

    More from Ed Miliband, who said the government should not be "finger pointing" but should concentrate on helping people deal with the flooding, "rolling our sleeves up, getting on with getting the people the help, making sure all the necessary agencies are working together, all the help is being provided for people".

     
  185.  
    12:37:

    A firefighter wades through floodwaters in Wraysbury, Berks

    Firefighter in Wraysbury
     
  186.  
    Aaron

    tweets: Visiting #Staines to see if our house has been affected by the floods. Fingers crossed!! #surreyfloods

     
  187.  
    12:39:

    Political leaders are out in force visiting flood-hit areas around the country

    Mr Cameron spent the night in the West Country
     
  188.  
    12:44:

    In Wales some roads are blocked by water and snow, with heavy rain and coastal gales forecast in the next 24 hours.

    Bwlch-y-Garreg in Powys
     
  189.  
    Jess Wheeldon

    tweets: I think I am going to have to find a very awkward route home today :( #floods #winchester

     
  190.  
    12:45:

    Groundwater levels are so high in some parts of the country that flooding is likely to persist for weeks, or even months, according to a scientist from the British Geological Survey.

     
  191.  
    12:48:

    Watch the BBC's John Hammond give the latest weather forecast here

    John Hammond
     
  192.  
    12:49:

    Residents in Wraysbury, Berkshire, tell the BBC not enough has been done to help those affected by the flooding.

     
  193.  
    12:51: Richard Brown

    sends the BBC this image of the flooding of the Thames by Hurst Park, West Molesey.

    Flooding in West Molesey. Photo: Richard Brown
     
  194.  
    12:58:

    Network Rail boss Robin Gisby tells BBC that rising water around Brighton line will soon be "of concern" if there's more rain

     
  195.  
    Len Stalker-Clarke

    emails: My sympathies go to all the families and businesses suffering this non-stop onslaught of rain and high winds. But let's not get carried away, else the politicians jump on the blame bandwagon... Both the government and environmental services should be asking the government authorities in the Netherlands for advice. These people are prepared and have been for years on the know-how on dredging dykes, rivers etc.

     
  196.  
    13:13:

    The village of Datchet in Berkshire is still battling against the floods.

    Datchet
     
  197.  
    Kev Newbold

    tweets: So the tube strike is off... No point being off unpaid when no one is getting into London on the trains cos of the floods! #result!

     
  198.  
    13:14:

    Dr Jillian Labadz, an expert in river flows at Nottingham Trent University, says the rainfall in January was "unprecedented" and warns that predictions about climate change suggest we should expect more flooding in the future.

     
  199.  
    13:25:

    River flow expert Dr Labadz says we now have to make space for water in our catchments," as protection for one area will cause problems elsewhere".

     
  200.  
    13:25:

    BBC Weather's Susan Powell takes a look at what's been causing the relentless wet weather.

    Susan Powell
     
  201.  
    13:31:

    The BBC's Nick Tarver, in Staines, says it's hard to distinguish where the river ends and the town begins.

     
  202.  
    13:32: Nick Tarver

    "Park benches and bins are submerged, and there's an eerie quiet as the river slides by," says Nick Tarver. "Among the residents who have stayed, there is a feeling of helpless desperation as the waters rise and the rain continues."

     
  203.  
    13:32:

    Flood levels on the River Severn in Worcestershire may rise further, the Environment Agency has said. A peak of 5.4m was recorded at Upton-upon-Severn on Monday, but the agency warned waters could be 10cm higher on Thursday.

     
  204.  
    13:34:

    A generator being used by the Envinronment Agency in Bewdley, Worcs, has been stolen, which a spokesman said had "put lives at risk". The machine was taken from Beales Corner, where it was used to keep temporary barriers dry. The agency's Chris Bainger said a replacement had been installed, "so everything is safe there now".

     
  205.  
    Dave Throup

    The Environment Agency manager for Hertfordshire and Worcestershire tweets: Barriers going higher at Bewdley. River rising quickly

    Workers raise river barrier at Bewdley
     
  206.  
    13:44:

    Eight lorries carrying soldiers from 1 Royal Regiment of Fusiliers have arrived in Wraysbury, Berkshire. Members of the Royal Logistics Corps are also present, the BBC's Angus Crawford reports.

     
  207.  
    13:49:
    Mayor of Runnymede, Yvonna Lay

    The BBC's Nick Tarver has been talking to flood-hit residents in Surrey, preparing to evacuate their homes as the waters creep nearer

     
  208.  
    13:49:

    In an update from Thames Valley's North Surrey region, Chief Superintendent Matt Twist says: "So far, we've visited about 2,000 homes, in about 470 different roads in the affected areas. We've got boats available and deployed - loaned to us from the Metropolitan Police, from Sussex and from the military and from fire and rescue."

     
  209.  
    Peter Henley

    The BBC politics reporter tweets: Labour leader Ed Miliband is labelled a "floods tourist" in confrontation with local Tory MP Alok Sharma

    Ed Miliband
     
  210.  
    13:50:

    Chief Supt Twist says the weather is not likely to ease any time soon. "I think we're looking into several days, possibly into weeks, is the plans that we are making in order to ensure that we're resilient and that we're able to resource to the level we need to."

     
  211.  
    13:56:
    Car driving through flood water in Essex

    Essex County Council announces is it setting aside £1m to alleviate the worst flooding hotspots in the county. The cash will be used to clear culverts, empty gullies and remove debris.

     
  212.  
    13:56:

    People can see their local river levels by entering their postcode here.

    UK map
     
  213.  
    Stan Anders, Southend

    emails: Perhaps it is time to resurrect a Civil Defence organisation in the UK precisely to deal with these kinds of catastrophes and others . With all the predictions of "wild" weather in the future due to global warning, having an organisation trained and ready for deployment must be something to think about !

     
  214.  
    14:06:

    There's a Met Office amber warning - meaning "be prepared" - in place for high winds in place for the South West, Wales and northern England on Wednesday. Find out more here.

     
  215.  
    14:06:
  216.  
    Dave Throup

    The Environment Agency manager for Hertfordshire and Worcestershire tweets: A resident and her cat can only watch the Severn race by at Diglis #worcester

    Woman watches as street is flooded
     
  217.  
    14:13:
    Sandbags Sandbags have been used in Ironbridge Antiques, Arts and Crafts Centre

    Residents in parts of historic Ironbridge, in Shropshire, are being advised to take "extreme care" and consider leaving their homes or moving to upper storeys as the swollen River Severn continues to rise.

     
  218.  
    Richard, Cirencester

    emails: The upper Thames area is not too badly affected at present, but over recent years the Environment Agency, driven by national planning policies, has continued to give the green light to developments which take significant areas out of the effective capacity of the flood plains and force water to move more quickly downstream to affect other low-lying areas (as we have seen in recent days). This insanity has to stop - now!

     
  219.  
    Mark

    tweets: Which politician looks more earnest & forthright in waders & hard hat? Who looks like "taking this seriously"? #flooding @bbc_haveyoursay

     
  220.  
    14:22:
    Snow Snow ploughs were out on the A44 around Ponterwyd early on Tuesday

    Meanwhile, snow has been affecting travel in parts of mid and north Wales.

     
  221.  
    14:23:
    Flooding in Wraysbury

    This is a flooded street in Wraysbury, in Berkshire.

     
  222.  
    David Shukman

    The BBC's science editor tweets: River Thames rising: this is Oxfordshire and this was a car park. The floods may last weeks, I'm told

    Flooded car park
     
  223.  
    14:38:
    Men on flooded street

    Wraysbury residents attempt to deal with the flooding.

     
  224.  
    Paul Bennett, Egham Surrey

    emails: I'm at my mum's house in Egham, trying to get things ready in case her house floods. The water is already about three feet deep in the garden.

     
  225.  
    Andy, Wraysbury, Middlesex

    emails: Speaking on the Today programme this morning, Philip Hammond said local authorities would be allowed to spend as much as they needed to provide resources to deal with the flooding. I live in Wraysbury, and our toilet doesn't work because the drains are flooded. So, despite having no toilet and a four year old at home because the local school is closed we have no access to or use of a toilet, and there is no information on the RBWM website.

     
  226.  
    Peter Ind and Sue Jones, Shepperton

    emails: We presume that reporters have not been here at the Shepperton towpath because it is too challenging - at waist level water. We feel however very lucky - unlike some of the sad and angry cases you have shown along the Thames. Our house is fine - we are on stilts - although the garden is flooded by about two feet. Other neighbours have not been so fortunate and we feel great sympathy for their plight. This flooding started on Thursday last week and there was no coverage of Thames flooding until Sunday. We have not seen any official people although we know how many incredible volunteers from the Environmental Agency are responding.

     
  227.  
    14:51:

    Scientists analysing data from the British Geological Survey are warning that some water levels across the country are so high that the ground can take no more and will inevitably flood.

     
  228.  
    14:51:

    The British Geological Survey runs 32 boreholes - nine of which are showing record water levels. One has never been so full in its 179 years of operation.

     
  229.  
    14:52:

    Scientists are describing readings from rivers as equally alarming. Of 65 river sampling stations, 17 have never seen such high average flows for January.

     
  230.  
    14:52:

    The last thing anyone needs now is more rain but that's exactly what's forecast. As one scientist at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology put it: "There's literally nowhere for more water to go - the ground is full."

     
  231.  
    14:52:
  232.  
    Charles, Fairford, Gloucestershire

    emails: The River Coln, which feeds into the River Thames at Lechlade, is higher than ever today. I am afraid it looks like it may get worse before it gets better for those downstream. Responding to Richard in Cirencester though, he and most others simply do not appreciate the strict planning controls there are on flood plain development. Working for housebuilders as I do, I know how difficult or impossible it is, unless clear and comprehensive mitigation is provided. This current situation is down to the simple fact that we have never had so much rain in 6 weeks, ever. Only Mother Nature can be blamed.

     
  233.  
    14:54:
    Sandbags

    BBC Berkshire radio reporter Susanne Courtney tweeted this picture of sandbags arriving in Wraysbury, Berkshire.

     
  234.  
    14:56:

    Defra urges people affected by floods to remember the welfare of their animals during this time of crisis.

     
  235.  
    14:58:
    Thames Barrier

    The Thames Barrier has had record levels of use over the past two months, protecting London from floods, But how does it work?

     
  236.  
    14:59:

    First Great Western spokesman Dan Panes urges customers to "bear with us" as the flooding plays havoc with services.

     
  237.  
    RBWM Library Service

    has tweeted this image of Datchet Library surrounded by flood water.

     
  238.  
    Evrim Sen

    tweets: #Datchet looking much worse today with flood waters moving further in and merging with underground waters #floods

     
  239.  
    15:10:

    Campaign group Friends of the Earth urges David Cameron to take climate change more seriously, as the organisation's climate campaigner Guy Shrubsole warns extreme weather is to become more common.

     
  240.  
    David Townend

    emails: It's only a matter of time until the Thames comes over the banks here in Maidenhead. With all this flooding, I bet you in the summer we're still going to be told we have hose pipe bans.

     
  241.  
    15:11:

    First Great Western spokesman Dan Panes says: "The big message today is don't travel unless absolutely necessary."

     
  242.  
    15:18:

    Rather than the usual 25 trains an hour running in and out of Paddington, First Great Western says it is only able to run four at the moment.

     
  243.  
    15:18:

    Mr Panes says the big problem is currently at Maidenhead, but Network Rail is working to fix the issue. "There's water that has got into Network Rail's signalling and safety equipment, which means we have got no signal or safety equipment into or out of Paddington," he says.

     
  244.  
    15:39:

    Green MEP candidate for the South West Molly Scott Cato says Eric Pickles's "U-turn" on the Environment Agency's handling of the flooding is "fooling no-one". She says: "It is the government who have been responsible for the devastating cuts to the agency and the government who must take responsibility."

     
  245.  
    15:45:

    The BBC's Sam Wilson meets people affected by flooding along the Thames.

    Ernest Floate in front of his house
     
  246.  
    15:45:

    Former floods minister Richard Benyon - who turned down a request last summer for funds to allow the dredging of rivers in Somerset - warns against simplistic solutions to the flooding crisis across southern England.

     
  247.  
    Trevor Canning

    tweets: Pallets of sand bags have been dropped off down my road #panicstations #floods #staines #thames

     
  248.  
    James Heappey

    tweets: Somerset's tourist industry is #OpenForBusiness & needs our support. Warm welcome awaits in Burnham #SupportSomerset

     
  249.  
    Nigel Brown

    tweets: Great! Only short delay at #Maidenhead, signalling problems at #Ipswich solved and tomorrow's #tubestrike off. Maybe good journey after all

     
  250.  
    15:46:

    Mr Benyon, who decided last August that the million pounds requested would be better spent elsewhere, says he stands by his belief that dredging probably wouldn't have protected homes and farms in the Somerset Levels.

     
  251.  
    15:47:

    "Most of the rivers that feed the Thames, the last thing you want to is dredge them, because it just means the water races through constituencies like mine and floods Reading and places further east," Mr Benyon says.

     
  252.  
    15:53:
    Flooded drain

    BBC Midlands Today's Cath Mackie follows drainage engineers in Worcester as they fight to clear drains and prevent further flooding.

     
  253.  
    16:06: Breaking News

    A 10-mile section of the M2 motorway in north Kent has been closed in both directions after a 50ft-deep hole appeared in the central reservation. The Highways Agency said the hole measured 16ft (5m) by 6ft (2m) and was 50ft (15m) deep.

     
  254.  
    16:08:

    The M2 is closed both ways between junction 5 near Sittingbourne and junction 6 south of Faversham.

     
  255.  
    Isabella Auriemma

    tweets: Almost every road I need to go down is shut because of the floods! stranded in Staines.

     
  256.  
    16:22: Ian Bowring

    sent the BBC this image of suburban migration in Staines.

    Flooding in Staines. Photo: Ian Bowring
     
  257.  
    UK Prime Minister

    David Cameron tweets: Live in #Berkshire or #Surrey? Be #floodaware and follow @ThamesVP, @SurreyPolice and @EnvAgencySE for local updates

     
  258.  
    16:24:
    Ariel view of flooding

    Views from the BBC News helicopter over the Thames, just south of Shepperton, Surrey, show the extent of the devastating flooding to hit the area.

     
  259.  
    Phil Mackie

    The BBC journalist tweets: Just had email from kids school warning of likely closure of #Worcester bridge later. This time it'll be shut longer I fear #floods

     
  260.  
    16:29:

    Here a local volunteer helps ferry local residents of Purley on Thames.

    Purley on Thames
     
  261.  
    16:30:

    Novel ways of transport are becoming the norm. Here a kayak is tied up on a flooded street in Purley on Thames.

    Purley on Thames
     
  262.  
    16:45:
    Handout photo dated 11/02/14 and issued by the Highways Agency of a 50ft-deep hole which appeared in the central reservation on a busy section of motorway on the M2 in north Kent

    A 10-mile section of a busy motorway is closed in both directions after a 50ft-deep hole appeared in the central reservation. Long tailbacks are building up after the M2 in north Kent shut between junction 5 near Sittingbourne and junction 6 south of Faversham.

     
  263.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    Ed Miliband calls on PM to press insurance industry for prompt pay outs to #flood victims

     
  264.  
    16:50:

    Prime Minister David Cameron is holding a press conference at Downing Street. We'll bring you what he has to say as we get it. You can also watch live on the BBC News Channel.

     
  265.  
    16:51: Breaking News

    Prime Minister David Cameron tells a press conference: "There is absolutely no sign of this threat abating. With further rain and strong winds forecast throughout this week, things may well get worse before they get better."

     
  266.  
    16:52: Breaking News

    Mr Cameron says: "Money is no object in this relief effort. Whatever money is needed we will spend it."

     
  267.  
    16:53:

    By end of day 1,600 military will have been deployed and thousands are more available, says the prime minister.

     
  268.  
    16:53:

    Mr Cameron says he is cancelling his visit to the Middle East next week to focus on the government's response to the floods.

     
  269.  
    16:55:

    On Network Rail Mr Cameron says it is working 18 hours a day to fix the rail line at Dawlish.

     
  270.  
    16:55:

    Network Rail has advised customers to check before travelling on Tuesday, saying recent bad weather is affecting services across several locations.

     
  271.  
    16:56:

    Mr Cameron says: "I am setting up a new cabinet committee to oversee the recovery and I will chair its first meeting on Thursday."

     
  272.  
    16:56:

    The prime minister says there are lessons to be learned from the flooding, "and those lessons will be learned".

     
  273.  
    16:57:

    Mr Cameron says: "We will deal with the floods and we will build a more resilient country for the future."

     
  274.  
    16:58:

    Mr Cameron says three million litres of flood water are being pumped off the Somerset Levels every day - the volume is equivalent to three Wembley stadiums. But he warns the recovery will take time. "It will be a long haul," he tells the press conference.

     
  275.  
    17:00:

    The prime minister praises Environment Agency staff saying they "have done an extraordinarily good job and as we speak today they are working around the clock."

     
  276.  
    17:00:
    David Cameron

    Mr Cameron says lessons will be learned from the flooding crisis.

     
  277.  
    17:02:

    David Cameron tells the press conference this has been the "wettest winter for 250 years, it is very difficult to have all the protections you need."

     
  278.  
    17:03:

    Mr Cameron reiterates that the government will "spend what is necessary for the future". "We're going to lay out plans and spend what we need to," he says in response to a question from BBC political editor Nick Robinson.

     
  279.  
    17:04:

    Mr Cameron says: "Eric Pickles was right in saying what he said about being sorry about what happened. The staff of the EA, the people out there on the ground, they are getting huge amounts of praise from their communities and that is what Eric said. Now is not the time for resignations and all the rest of it."

     
  280.  

    350 rescued from Surrey floods today so far, tweets Surrey Fire & Rescue @SurreyFRS: Another busy day, we have undertaken over 350 rescues of residents affected by #surreyfloods Please Stay Safe around flood water.

     
  281.  
    17:10:

    David Cameron tells the press conference: "This is not a time for people to leave their posts. It is time for people to knuckle down with their very important work."

    "Whatever your view about this issue, clearly we have and are having right now, some pretty extreme weather.

    "Whatever your view about climate change, it makes sense to mitigate and that is the view of the whole government."

     
  282.  
    17:11:

    Here are some key quotes from Mr Cameron's press conference:

    • "Things may well get worse before they get better"
    • "Money is no object in this relief effort. Whatever money is needed for it will be spent"
    • "We will get our country back on its feet and build a more resilient country for the future"
     
  283.  
    17:12:

    The prime minister also announced:

    • He will cancel his visit to the Middle East next week

    • He is to chair meetings of the government's emergency committee, Cobra

    • A new Cabinet committee to oversee the recovery will be set up and he will chair the first meeting on Thursday

    • A grant system, of several thousand pounds per household, will be introduced for flood defences

     
  284.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    £10 million to be made available to farmers hit by #floods says PM

     
  285.  
    17:18:
    Flooding at East Waterside, Upton upon Severn

    Janet Wortley photographed flooding at East Waterside, Upton upon Severn. See more of your pictures here.

     
  286.  
    17:20:

    Here's the latest on flood warnings for England and Wales. There are:

    • 16 severe flood warnings - indicating danger to life - in place
    • There are 121 flood warnings - indicating flooding is expected and immediate action is required
    • 232 flood alerts are in place, meaning flooding is possible, be prepared

    For a full list, updated every 15 minutes, check here.

     
  287.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel

    PM rebuffs call to divert money from aid budget for #flood defences - "We don't have to make that choice"

     
  288.  
    17:23:

    "We shall all unite in a great national effort", Mr Cameron says, as he concludes the press conference. Read the full story here.

     
  289.  

    The Met Office tweets "It's already the wettest winter on record for south east & central southern England in a series going back to 1910

     
  290.  
    17:29:

    During the press conference Mr Cameron told emergency services: "don't think twice, if you need help, the military are there to help."

     
  291.  
    17:30:

    Asked about climate change during the floods press conference, Mr Cameron says: "Whatever you think of climate change, we should all unite in a great national effort."

     
  292.  
    Jim, Truro

    emails: I love the fact that as soon as London voters are affected, suddenly the PM jumps into action. Why has it taken so long to mobilise the peace time troops and emergency services to help? But at least we have HS2 to look forward to - we can't even protect the railway lines we have now.

     
  293.  
    Holden Reeves, Taunton

    emails: Mr Cameron. You talk a good talk but you don't do a very good walk! We people here in Somerset knew this weather was coming for ages! We got hit reasonably hard just before Christmas, but no action was taken, now look at us. We are falling under and every day is a constant struggle for so many people here!

     
  294.  
    Norman Smith Chief political correspondent, BBC News Channel
    Norman Smith

    tells the BBC News Channel that the most striking aspect of what Mr Cameron had to say was his suggestion the government would spend whatever was needed to help get those affected by the flooding to get back on their feet.

    It was also an attempt by Mr Cameron to project himself as the national leader in charge of a national crisis. Mr Cameron didn't seek to diminish the scale of the challenge ahead, he said very clearly things would get worse before they got better.

     
  295.  
    17:36:
    Tube strike

    In a separate development, a planned Tube strike was cancelled after unions reached a deal with London Underground. A 48-hour strike last week caused major disruption across the capital during severe weather conditions.

     
  296.  
    Chris Gilzean, Renfrewshire

    texts: Have just listened to David Cameron say money is no option and what flooded areas need they will get. Where is this money coming from?

     
  297.  
    17:38:

    Flood victims are being offered shelter at a "refugee centre" set up in Thorpe Park theme park. It has set up a "temporary holding centre" for those evacuated from the surrounding area, Chertsey in Surrey, which has suffered repeated flooding since December.

     
  298.  
    No 10 Press Office
    PM David Cameron takes questions on floods from gathered press at Downing Street this afternoon

    PM David Cameron takes questions on floods from gathered press at Downing Street this afternoon.

     
  299.  
    17:45: Ben Brown BBC News

    says the sun is shining but more rain is forecast. The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers have been out in force filling sandbags.

     
  300.  
    Andrew Oakley, Tewkesbury

    emails: How very strange. The Prime Minister says "money no object" now that the Home Counties are flooding. Where was this money when Tewkesbury was flooding in 2007 or when Somerset started to flood at Christmas? Does everything have to happen on Westminster's doorstep before the government lifts a finger?

     

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