Travel chaos amid Christmas getaway after torrential downpours cause flooding in southern England

Torrential rain and flooding is causing travel chaos in parts of the country, with some areas of southern England getting nearly 2in (50mm) of rain in two days.

Yellow weather warnings for rain are in place for large swathes of the south until midday on Sunday, with 45 flood warnings and 192 flood alerts put in place by the Environment Agency.

The inclement conditions added to an already chaotic situation on the roads as 31 million cars were predicted to join the big Christmas getaway.

Devon and Cornwall Police declared a major incident on Thursday and said downpours had caused localised flooding, with a number of roads left impassable, including the A30 bypass at Hayle which was temporarily closed.

Weather warnings for rain. See story WEATHER Rain. Infographic PA Graphics

The village of Cardinham in Cornwall saw 2in (50.8mm) of rain over 36 hours while Bastreet Downs got 2.1in (53.4mm).

Norfolk and Suffolk Police said parts of both counties had been inundated by Friday morning.

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Some 30 flood warnings – where flooding is expected – were in place for England on Thursday evening, alongside 189 flood alerts, which warn flooding is possible.

The Environment Agency said it was monitoring the situation and the public were advised to remain vigilant.

The wet weather is likely to get a bit drier, but we're not in line for a white Christmas (Picture: PA)

For those suffering flooding in Cornwall, the situation is likely to improve, forecasters have predicted.

A Met Office spokesman said on Friday: “There will be some showers around but nowhere near as much rain as today.”

He added: “More rain is coming from the south through the night and tomorrow.

“Most of the rain will be in the eastern part, eastern England and Scotland, gradually improving throughout the day.

“It does look, as we head into next week, that the weather will turn drier.”

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