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Sunday 13 July 2014

Families forced from homes in flooding chaos

Published 24/12/2013|15:24

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Flooding in Mallards Way, Maidstone, Kent. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday December 24, 2013. Britain's bleak midwinter continued today with strong winds, floods and fallen trees causing chaos to travellers trying to get away for Christmas. Many rail services were disrupted, with some companies unable to run any trains at all, while a power outage at Gatwick airport's north terminal added to flight problems. On the roads, many major routes were flooded or blocked by fallen trees, with Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex and Cornwall among the affected counties. See PA story WEATHER Christmas. Photo credit should read: David Cowan/PA Wire
Flooding in Mallards Way, Maidstone, Kent. Strong winds, floods and fallen trees caused chaos to travellers trying to get away for Christmas. Credit: David Cowan/PA Wire

Thousands of people have been affected by flooding which has deluged parts of the UK.

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Some have been forced to leave their homes as water levels rise while many villages in the South East have found themselves under water.

Parts of Kent, including Edenbridge, Tonbridge and parts of Maidstone, have suffered severe flooding as a result of the storm.

Ene Corral, from Edenbridge, said she had moved most of her family's belongings upstairs, including their Christmas tree and all their presents, as flood water lapped 10 yards from her front door.

She said: "The Environment Agency came to see us this morning. We are all flooding here but no one has provided us with any sandbags.

"The storms are meant to be coming again on Thursday and Friday and we have been given nothing to protect us.

"My neighbour is going to put a barricade up later to try and stop any more flood water reaching us.

"Other neighbours whose houses have flooded have gone to family nearby. I have some friends coming here later who have also been affected."

Miss Corral, 32, said her next-door neighbours have lived in the street for 25 years and have never experienced anything as bad.

She said: "Some cars are still coming through the flood water, which is creating waves and making it much worse.

"We have provisions here so if we are trapped in the house, we should have enough to keep us going for a few days."

David Cowan woke up to find he could not get out of his home in Mallards Way, Maidstone.

He said that although properties had not flooded and the road was impassable, vehicles were still trying to get through.

He said: "We overlook a lake which often floods but I have not seen it this bad for years. I cannot believe that cars are still trying to drive through it."

The Environment Agency has issued flood warnings across England and Wales and an update on how badly the country has been affected is expected later today.

Sussex, Surrey, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall have all been affected by the downpours.

In Dorset fire crews had to rescue 25 people trapped in their cars by flood water, and Gatwick Airport said its power problems earlier today were caused by flooding from the nearby River Mole into airfield substations and into the North Terminal.

Meanwhile, Kent Fire and Rescue Service rescued a man from a tree when he was swept away by flood water.

Crews used the inland boat to bring him to dry land after being called to Endfield Road, Tonbridge, at 2pm.

The man was given first aid by firefighters but he did not need further medical attention.

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