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Christmas misery for storm victims
MANY people are facing a miserable Christmas Day in the wake of the stormy weather with thousands either evacuated from their homes or left without power.
Fifty thousand homes across the UK are still without power this morning, including around 1,350 in the New Forest, the Energy Networks Association said.
With many families' turkey dinner ruined, major power company UK Power Networks is offering to pay for Christmas meals in local pubs or restaurants for people whose supplies remain cut off.
The Environment Agency has three severe warnings in place in the South East and South West - the highest level of alert, which means there is a danger to life.
In the early hours, around 90 people were evacuated from their homes on the River Stour near Bournemouth.
Police began to evacuate residents of the Ilford Bridge Home Park shortly after 3am following a severe flood warning from the Environment Agency (EA).
They were taken to the Boscombe Day Centre in Owl Road, Boscombe, Dorset Police said.
People were also evacuated from the Beaulieu Garden Park Home in Christchurch, Dorset.
The EA had 126 flood warnings across England and Wales this morning, mainly in the South East, the South West and the Midlands. A further 218 flood alerts were also in place, with 90 in the South East alone.
The EA said that by last night 150 properties had been flooded in England, mainly in the south and focused in Surrey and Kent.
Kirk Waite, a forecaster at the Met Office, said today would be ''much quieter'' weather-wise.
He said: ''We do have a few showers around and they could be heavy at times, and some of them might bring more hail, which will give a whiteness to things.''
Mr Waite said the storm coming on Friday is not expected to be as severe as we have already had.
He did say there would be quite heavy amounts of rain, which would bring ''additional problems'' to the places already dealing with floods.
Travellers trying to get home on Christmas Eve fought treacherous conditions on the roads and suffered major delays as the rail network was brought to its knees.
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