Heavy showers could bring more flooding woes for parts of rain-battered Britain this Christmas, as the country braces itself for one of its wettest years in history.
Hundreds of homes and businesses have been swamped with floodwaters, from the southern-most parts of Cornwall to the Highlands of Scotland as winter rains fall across a land that is saturated to bursting point.
The Environment Agency (EA) said widespread showers meant many places remain on flood alert despite persistent rain expected to ease over Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
David Jordan, the EA's director of operations, said: "Although the rain is set to ease a little in the coming days, the ground is still very wet and river levels remain high, so we would ask people to keep up to date with the latest warnings and stay prepared for flooding."
The EA has 154 flood warnings, urging people to take immediate action, in place across England and Wales and a further 258 flood alerts. There are 19 flood warnings in place in Scotland. The EA says more than 470 properties have flooded since Wednesday, while Floodline revealed it has received 18,000 calls during the recent wet weather.
The rain continued to cause travel disruption, heaping misery on millions of Christmas travellers on road and rail networks. A series of accidents on major highways also added to the travel chaos.
Three men were killed and three other people taken to hospital after a two-car crash on the A68 in Midlothian, Scotland, early on Monday morning. A number of other key routes including the A1(M) in Hertfordshire, the M6 in Cumbria and Staffordshire and the M5 near Bristol were also struck by weather-related delays.
Rail commuters using the West Coast line faced reduced services while operators CrossCountry, East Midlands Trains, First Great Western (FGW) and First TransPennine Express were all affected by flooding.
Despite the persistent rain easing-off over the coming hours, heavy showers are still expected overnight with the Met Office issuing yellow weather warnings for central Scotland and much of southern England and Wales.
Meteogroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said showers were likely to continue across most of the UK on Christmas Day, providing little respite for the flood-hit south west of England. Gareth Harvey, a MeteoGroup forecaster, said: "The rain will become confined to North East and north Scotland overnight, but a fresh band of showers will move into western parts of the UK and the south during Christmas Day. They will not be persistent but could be heavy and will not help the flooding issues."