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Homeowners facing further flooding

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Weather experts are predicting further downpours, which will be unwelcome news for homeowners in areas already "saturated" with rain.

There will be some respite on Wednesday with drier conditions expected, but forecasters predict a return to heavier downpours by the end of the week.

By Tuesday afternoon the Environment Agency had 18 flood warnings in place, mainly affecting the Midlands and the North East, after heavy rains continued to affect parts of England.

Homeowners have already suffered tens of millions of pounds in damage to property because of the downpours, and at least six people have lost their lives.

The adverse conditions have raised questions over Britain's flood defences in high risk areas and the resulting impact on home insurance provision.

Stephen Davenport, a senior forecaster at MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said that, while Wednesday would be drier in many places, there would be strong winds. These would be "almost gale-force" in Northern Ireland and areas bordering the Irish Sea, he added.

Mr Davenport said that rain could be expected across the country on Thursday, although this would not be particularly heavy. However, he warned that bad weather could return by the end of the working week.

© The Press Association 2008