RESIDENTS in parts of Hampshire are today being warned to remain vigilant as further heavy rain is expected to bring more misery to areas that have already seen widespread flooding.

Nearly 80 flood warnings remain in place throughout the country while there are more than 115 flood alerts, although none deemed severe - which would carry a danger to life.

River levels have been rising steadily in Hampshire as well as neighbouring Dorset following days of downpours, the Environment Agency (EA) said.

Rivers including the Hampshire Avon through Hampshire and Dorset, the Stour in Dorset, showed little signs of receding.

Helen Roberts, a forecaster with the Met Office, said a band of rain will arrive from the West this afternoon.

''It'll be over south west England from midday and spread slowly eastwards across the rest of the country,'' she said.

But she said that although there might be some ''moderate to heavy bursts'', there were not significant amounts of rain expected until Wednesday.

She went on: ''Monday night will see scattered showers in the West and into Tuesday morning but it will then be turning wet and windy on Wednesday and will be remaining unsettled.

''There is a lot of saturated land and high river levels so any amount of rain is not good for those areas.''

Eight people have died and more than 1,700 homes and businesses have been flooded in England since the beginning of the Christmas period, with around 550 properties flooded since the new year. Some 140 properties have been flooded in Wales.