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Hundreds evacuated from homes after flooding

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Watch: Helicopter video shows man riding his bike through floodwaters as houses and trucks go under water

Hundreds of homes have been destroyed by flooding in England following a week of powerful storms and heavy rain.

There are more than 250 flood warnings in force, mostly in the Midlands, East Anglia and southern England, forcing many people to evacuate their properties.

Flooded roads and tracks are causing more delays for travelers.

A major incident has been declared in Nottinghamshire around the River Trent.

More than 1,000 homes have been flooded in England this week, the Environment Agency said.

Earlier on Friday, Nottinghamshire County Council said more than 100 homes in the county were among those affected by flooding, but warned the number could rise.

Neil Clarke, leader of Rushcliffe Council in Nottinghamshire, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program that water levels on the River Trent were starting to fall slightly but the situation remained serious.

The Environment Agency said river levels had reached their highest level in 24 years.

The river peaked at 5.35m, just shy of the record set in 2000 when it reached a height of 5.5m.

The agency’s director of flood operations, Caroline Douglass, told BBC Breakfast that hundreds of homes were flooded in England overnight into Friday.

She added that about 50 homes on Alney Island in Gloucester had been evacuated.

“We are a wet country and there is always a lot of rain,” Ms. Douglass said.

“During November and December, following Storm Babet and Storm Ciaran, the ground was saturated to incredible levels across the country, especially in the east.

“That was added in the period before Christmas [and] This week’s rainfall has increased so there is nowhere for the water to drain anymore.

“In that situation, we will have more flooding and larger impacts than we have ever seen and potentially in areas that people are not used to.”

A party boat moored at Temple Pier on the River Thames sank on Thursday amid heavy rain.

Meanwhile, Chancellor Rishi Sunak is facing calls from opposition parties to visit flood-hit areas.

Mr Sunak said he had spoken to people affected by flooding in the East Midlands but did not commit to visiting any affected areas.

He said: “I just want people to be reassured that the Environment Agency has people in place in all affected areas, and that hundreds of high-capacity pumps are working today to make a difference ”.

Labor has accused the government of “falling asleep” on flood warnings and said it should convene an emergency “Cobra-style task force” to protect homes from further damage.

The BBC has been informed that there are no plans to hold a Cobra meeting. A government source said Environment Secretary Steve Barclay was being updated by the Environment Agency.

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A spokesman for HM Coastguard said everyone had been identified after the Bar & Co boat sank

Heavy rain has fallen on ground already saturated by Storm Henk, causing disruption across Britain earlier this week.

Several rivers have burst their banks, including the River Trent in Nottinghamshire and the River Severn in the West Midlands and West of England.

Natural Resources Wales said there were two flood warnings and eight warnings in place.

The Environment Agency, which issues flood guidance for England, said ongoing impacts from this week’s rainfall could occur across the country over the next five days.

The highest rainfall total recorded on Thursday was 35.2mm in the village of Otterbourne in Hampshire, while between 20 and 30mm fell across much of southern England.

Wattisham, a village in Suffolk, this week surpassed its average monthly rainfall total for January.

The Met Office’s yellow warning for rain covering the south expired at 03:00 on Friday.

Henk is the eighth named storm in three months, with the current wet and windy weather forecast to end this weekend.

The UK Health Security Agency has issued a cold weather warning for the coming days and warned that temperatures could plummet. The yellow cold weather warning for the whole of England comes into force at 9am on Saturday and expires at noon on January 12.

image source, Liam Ball/Handout

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Mario Thomas, owner of the Boat Inn, said the place had flooded three times in the past year – but this was the worst.

Train companies have warned that flooding is affecting services.

The Great Western Railway, which connects London with south-west England and south Wales, said there was “significant disruption on the network” expected to last throughout the day due to trains and ships The crew had to relocate.

A number of routes have been closed, including the route between Yeovil Junction and Exeter after a landslide near Crewkerne.

A landslide at Arlesey in Bedfordshire is also affecting services from a number of rail providers out of King’s Cross station in London.

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Pub owner Andy Goodall held a pint of beer standing in the middle of floodwaters

Experts say a warming atmosphere increases the risk of intense rain and storms.

However, there are many factors that contribute to extreme weather, and scientists need time to calculate the extent of climate change’s impact on specific events – if any.

The world has warmed about 1.1 degrees Celsius since the industrial era began and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments around the world make drastic cuts in emissions.

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