People warned of stormy weather over the next two days

People in Bedfordshire are being warned to be prepared for possible flooding with strong winds and heavy rain forecast today (Monday) and tomorrow (Tuesday).

There are currently 21 flood alerts in force across the South East region.

The Environment Agency and its professional partners are warning communities in the South East to be vigilant and prepared for possible flooding with strong winds heavy rain forecast on Monday and Tuesday.

Forecasts suggest that weather conditions will be unsettled across the region and heavy rain showers are forecast for Monday afternoon into Christmas Eve, which could cause flooding from rivers and surface water.

Simon Beavan, regional flood and coastal risk manager at the Environment Agency, said: “With more unsettled weather forecast for the South East, following recent heavy rainfall, there could be a lot of water in low-lying lands and on roads.

“Those who live in an area vulnerable to flooding should think about the precautions they can take to limit the damage a flood can cause to themselves and their property.

“Be prepared: check the Environment Agency website for the latest situation and advice.”

People are being urged to heed three key warnings:

- Stay away from promenades along the south coast on Monday and Tuesday because of the wet and windy conditions.

- Residents who are set to be away for the festive period are urged to check the flood risk for their local area and, if necessary, take steps to protect valuable items left at home.

- Drivers are being urged to check the latest flood updates ahead of their journey - and to not to drive through dangerous floodwater.

If there is widespread and heavy rainfall it will fall onto catchments that are already wet or saturated following the recent rainfall across the region, which may cause flooding of low-lying land and roads in the area.

Due to the severe weather expected, Network Rail announced today it is going to implement speed restrictions on all its routes and will be running a reduced timetable on both days.

On the Great Northern route there will be a reduced timetable from the start of service on Monday,

On the Thameslink routes there will be a reduced timetable from midday today (Monday).

A Network Rail spokesman said: “As the storm will continue throughout the night, the lines have to be checked for damage on Tuesday morning before being released back to us to start running services again. “There will be no trains on Tuesday in the hours of darkness and we’ll resume service as soon as we are able.

“We advise passengers to check our website or contact our Twitter team (@FirstCC) before they travel and allow plenty of time for their journey.

“If you have booked advanced travel and are using our services to connect with other ones, we are passing all FCC tickets valid for travel on Sunday, Monday or Tuesday on any of these days.”