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Weather warning

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--- Quote ---Britain will be battered by a fresh wave of "exceptional weather", with gale-force winds and driving rain creating a risk of widespread flooding, the environment secretary has warned.

Owen Paterson said after a meeting of the government's Cobra committee on Thursday that emergency agencies and power companies were on high alert for further storms.

Meanwhile the Environment Agency said it was preparing to issue severe weather warnings – meaning there is a threat to life and property – for coastal areas at risk of flooding.

Large swaths of the British coastline, stretching from the Isles of Scilly to Wales and Scotland, are at risk of severe flooding, forecasters warned, as a further storm front sweeps in from the Atlantic on Friday and again on Sunday.

The Environment Agency said the flood risk will extend along the UK coastline from north-west England, through Wales and south-west and southern England. Areas particularly at risk include the Isles of Scilly, the north and south coasts of Devon and Cornwall, Dorset and the coastline of Wales.

Severe flood warnings were issued for the coast of Cornwall and Devon on Thursday afternoon, with 65mph winds stirring up waves up to nine metres high in some places.

Flood warnings are also in place in the Midlands, north-west, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as 229 less-serious flood alerts covering most of the UK.

The bigger concern for emergency services are gale-force winds, forecast at up to 60mph (100km/h) in western and southern England on Friday and even reaching 50mph inland, including London.

The weather warnings come after two people died after being swept out to sea by powerful waves off the south coast on New Year's Eve.

The search for a 27-year-old man swept out to sea on New Year's Eve was called off after a body was found on Thursday morning. The man, from Surrey, was swept out to sea by a powerful wave at 1am on Wednesday while celebrating the new year on the beach with his friends.

A woman died in the surf in Croyde, north Devon on New Year's Eve, after going swimming in the sea while on holiday with her family.
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--- Quote ---Homes evacuated as storm surge hits UK with 30ft waves expected
Residents in coastal areas evacuated from their homes as high winds and high tides hit England and Wales

The Environment Agency has issued 21 of its most serious flood warnings advising of flooding and a risk to life across Wales and England.

A combination of gales gusting up to 70 miles per hour, along with high spring tides, sent dangerous storm surges into coastal areas from the early hours of Friday.

People were warned to stay away from beaches, promenades and coastal paths in parts of Wales and southern and western England.
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--- Quote ---A man was pulled from the sea early on Saturday after ignoring warnings about the fierce storms battering Britain.

The man had to be rescued after going for a swim around 3am at Newquay, north Cornwall. He was dragged from the water and taken to hospital.

Police sergeant Reggie Butler said: “Another minute or 30 seconds and he would have been washed out to sea and the situation could have been tragic. We were not going to go into the water unless an opportunity presented itself and it was safe to do so. Fortunately for the male it did present itself.”
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--- Quote ---UK weather: Torrential rain and flooding continues as 'Winter Storm Hercules' heads over from US to add to Britain's woes
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--- Quote ---This video shows the strength of the storms hitting the UK - a spectacular view of the 30 foot waves which struck at Porthleven in Cornwall.

Latest update from the Environment Agency: one severe flood warning, 106 flood warnings, 218 flood alerts. For more flooding information from the EA, click here.
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--- Quote ---Weather: winter proper is finally on its way with snow and ice
The storms which have lashed Britain are letting up, to be replaced by wintry conditions and the possibility of snow and ice
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