Parts of Britain were on “high alert” for floods on Tuesday after a night of torrential downpours as Met Office figures showed April was the wettest on record.
The Environment Agency (EA) had 33 flood warnings and 139 flood alerts — where flooding is expected or possible respectively — in place after overnight storms brought more than 20mm (0.8in) of rain to some areas, particularly in the south west.
That represents approaching a third of the regular monthly average of 69.6mm.
Officials are keeping a close eye on water levels as flood defences hold back muddy water from over 25,000 homes, the EA said.
Many rivers were already at bursting point and more heavy rain is forecast for Tuesday.
The Met Office said early figures showed that April was the wettest since records began in 1910, even before Monday night’s downpours.
By April 29, rainfall for the month had reached 121.8mm, beating the previous record of 120.3mm set in 2000.
Liscombe in Somerset had the most rainfall, at 273.8mm.
The EA remains on “high alert” for flooding, particularly in Somerset, Dorset and Devon, which experienced some of the heaviest rain overnight.
The northwest of England is the only region unaffected by the warnings.
“River flows are high after this weekend’s rainfall and we are keeping a close watch on river levels as well as checking defences and clearing any potential blockages to reduce the risk of flooding,” an EA spokesman said.
The warnings comes after a 52-year-old man and his dog drowned when their car attempted to cross a flooded ford in Hampshire on Monday.
The man’s 54-year-old wife, who was driving, was hospitalised suffering from shock following the incident.
Meanwhile around 1,000 people had to be evacuated from a caravan park in Great Billing, Northampton.
Organisers also cancelled this year’s prestigious Badminton Horse Trials in Gloucestershire, which had been due to start Friday, saying there was “no chance” of the ground drying in time for the event.
Despite the rains, much of the country is still facing drought conditions which the EA said could increase the risk of flash floods.
The dry, hard-packed soil caused by drought makes it harder for rain to be absorbed.