Tens of thousands of homes remain without power following Britain's latest severe storms which claimed two lives, as parts of the country were warned their flood misery is set to continue in the coming days.
Despite weather forecasters predicting an "improving picture" with lighter winds and less rain, the Environment Agency (EA) said parts of southern, south west and central England remain at risk of flooding due to high river levels following the recent heavy rainfall.
The Energy Networks Association said "relentless" severe weather had caused some of the worst damage "in decades", with more than 80,000 homes still without power this afternoon.
Speaking during a visit to flood-hit Chertsey in Surrey, Prime Minister David Cameron said the relief effort in the next 24 hours would be "vital" as river levels were set to rise again.
He told Sky News: "This is a vast national effort where we're bringing all the resources of our country together. What we do in the next 24 hours is vital because tragically the river levels will rise again so every sandbag delivered, every house helped, every flood barrier put in place can make a big difference.
"Tragically these weather events have been hitting community and after community and doing that week after week.
"It has been very, very tough for people and my heart goes out to anyone whose been flooded and we'll do everything we can to help people get back on their feet."
The EA said it had closed the Thames Barrier for a record 16th consecutive time to help lower river levels.
Some 16 severe flood warnings - meaning there is a danger to life - were in place this afternoon along with 1 50 less serious flood warnings and 250 flood alerts across England and Wales.
Paul Leinster, chief executive of the EA, said; "We continue to see the very real and devastating impacts that flooding can have on communities and business. We know the distress that flooding can cause and are doing everything we can to reduce the impacts.
"Despite an improving forecast the risk of flooding will continue for many communities in southern parts of England over the next few days. We ask people to remain vigilant and take action where necessary.
"Environment Agency teams are working round the clock to support local authorities' relief effort. We have also teams out working to reduce the risk of flooding to communities and have deployed over 50 temporary defences.
"Over 1.3 million properties have been protected since the start of December thanks to Environment Agency defences and the Thames Barrier will close for a record 16th consecutive time today."
A female minicab driver died when part of a building collapsed on to a car in central London.
Mother-of-three Julie Sillitoe, 49, was killed close to Holborn Underground station after large chunks of masonry fell on to her silver Skoda Octavia last night.
Her passengers, a 25-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman, are currently being treated in hospital.
An 85-year-old man died yesterday after the 22,000-tonne Marco Polo cruise ship was hit by a freak wave in the English Channel.
The man was airlifted off the vessel along with a woman in her 70s, but later died. About 10 other people suffered minor injuries and were treated on board.
The vessel, which has been to the Amazon in South America and to the West Indies, is due to dock at Tilbury, Essex, in the early hours tomorrow.
Emergency services and the Army rescued 32 people from the Marine Restaurant in Milford on Sea, Hampshire, at 10pm yesterday, evacuating them in an Army vehicle. Hampshire Police said there were no serious injuries.
A 20ft deep sink hole appeared this morning under a quiet cul-de-sac in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire.
The people living in 17 homes close to the site in Oatridge Gardens were evacuated as the hole, measuring approximately 35ft wide and 20ft deep, was investigated.
Yellow "be aware" weather warnings of icy driving conditions are now in place for most of the UK. Across the south of England, Wales and the Midlands there are also warnings of heavy rain.
Met Office forecaster Charlie Powell said temperatures could drop to minus three Celsius overnight before Sunday is expected to be a dry day for most areas.
"It will be markedly different than it has been in the last few weeks," he said.
Meanwhile, EA chairman Lord Smith admitted he "could have done better" during the flooding crisis and said the country needs to take a "serious look" at how it prepares for more extreme weather.
He told LBC Radio: "I think there are certainly some things that I could have done better.
"I think we could and should have worked harder to persuade partner organisations in Somerset to undertake some of the longer term work that's needed down there which we were wanting to start last year but we weren't able to get the other bits of money that we needed on to the table.
"I should have worked harder to do that - i.e. I probably should have gone down there earlier than I did.
"But on the whole I've been actually very proud of the way that the Environment Agency's staff have responded and in the process have managed to protect 1.3 million homes around the country that would otherwise have flooded if our defences and our work hadn't been in place."
He added: " Now, we need to have a serious look as a country at how we prepare ourselves for that and how we build our flood defences."
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said more than 3,000 servicemen and women were committed to helping the flood relief effort with "thousands more at a state of high readiness" to assist if requested.
The RAF has flown its Tornado GR4 and Sentinel aircraft to capture images of the floods which are being used to co-ordinate efforts to prevent further flooding.
Around 100 soldiers from 1st Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers are still in Wraysbury, Berkshire, while more than 300 military personnel remain in Windsor, Datchet and Bisham, the MoD saod.
In Chertsey, servicemen and women from the 2nd Battalion The Royal Gurkha Rifles and the 2nd Royal Tank Regiment have been helping place a 600-metre Aquadam flood barrier brought over from Sweden.
More than 360 military personnel continue to provide relief in Surrey, while more than 4,000 sandbags were distributed across Hampshire this morning, according to the MoD.