A yellow warning of heavy rain is in place for southwest England, where the ground is already saturated following weeks of downpours, and there are several severe flood warnings still in place across southern England.

Forecasters say up to 40mm of rain could fall in parts of Cornwall, Devon and Dorset, while the downpours will also affect western areas of the UK, northwest England and western Scotland.

There is some good news – the situation in the worst hit areas of the Thames is set to improve this week.

However, large parts of the UK remain on high alert, with people battling to save their homes from floodwaters which are expected to rise even despite some breaks from the storms on Sunday.

Several people have died since Friday, including an elderly cruise ship passenger, a woman whose car was hit by falling masonry in central London and a firefighter who had a heart attack while on duty in Staines, Surrey, which has been badly hit by floods.

PM David Cameron described the floods as a “tragedy” and advised people to prepare for more bad weather this week.

“The recent flooding has been a tragedy for all those affected,” he said.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond praised the military response to the flooding but said local councils were reluctant to accept help from the Army during the floods and that government had to “push” the military on leaders of local authorities.

“We offered troops quite a long while ago to civil authorities that wanted them. What we’ve done over the past ten days is push them a bit more aggressively.”

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