BRITS have been issued an urgent warning for devastating floods and heavy rain as thousands are hit by power cuts.

Yellow weather warnings are in place for large parts of Wales and northwest England today as "persistent and heavy rain" falls on already wet ground.




Thousands of homes were blacked out in the bad weather including almost 200 near Worcester, almost 130 in Exeter and over 150 at Morecambe, Lancs.

The Met Office warned that "persistent heavy rain may lead to some disruption" in the morning for commuters.

Spray and flooding on roads has caused delays while bus and train schedules have also been impacted.

Two motorways, the M4 and the M25, were hit by rush hour traffic jam chaos as the relentless rain hammered down this morning.

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On the M25, queues nine miles long built up after a pile-up between junctions 8 and 9, the stretch between Reigate and Leatherhead.

On the M4 heading into London, long queues built up after a two-vehicle crash between junction 5 at Slough and junction 4B near Heathrow.

Thames Valley Police appealed to drivers to slow down amid the traffic chaos.

One traffic officer said: "Because of all the rain, many roads have huge pools of standing water which are like lakes in places.

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"But people are tearing along and risk aquaplaning and crashing into other vehicles.

"There could be carnage unless motorists take heed of the weather and slow down.

"It's not worth going faster to try to get to your destination that bit quicker and killing yourself, perhaps your family and other innocent people."

Flooding of homes and businesses may also occur because of the torrential weather, according to the Met Office.

And the weather service said rainfall totals of 60-80 mm could also accumulate over parts of Cumbria, with "heavy and persistent" downpours also anticipated in Wales.

Hollywood film star George Clooney and his neighbours were anxiously watching water levels in the River Thames today thanks to the relentless rain.

Movie star George, wife Amal and their children live in a £10 million millhouse yards from the swirling river at Sonning near Oxford.

Among dozens of floods alerts, the Environment Agency warned levels in the Thames are causing concern.

George's garden and lawns have been submerged in past floods so he will be keeping a weather eye on the Thames as it surges past his millhouse.

Further downstream, other reaches of the river including Windsor and Eton are known as Millionaires Row because a host of celebrities have homes close to the banks of the Thames.

The EA warned George and his neighbours, including ex-Prime Minister Theresa May, who also lives in Sonning "Flooding is possible – be prepared.

"River levels are high on the River Thames. Therefore, flooding of low lying paths, roads and land is expected to continue on the River Thames and its tributaries throughout Oxford.

"The forecast is for an unsettled week, with heavy rain and high rainfall totals expected on Tuesday, followed by showers, heavy at times, through the remainder of the week.

"It is expected that river levels will slowly rise over the coming days in response to rainfall before stabilising later in the week.

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"Our incident response staff are operating weirs to reduce flood risk.

"Please remain safe and aware of your local surroundings, be aware of flood water and avoid using low lying footpaths near watercourses."

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