Brits brace for more rain in flood-ravaged England, Wales

More downpours are expected in the next few days for Britain as emergency workers and citizens coped Monday with the aftermath of the country's worst flooding in 60 years.

More downpours are expected in the next few daysin Britainas emergency workers andcitizens coped Monday with the aftermath of the country's worst flooding in 60 years.

A cyclist wades through water in the town of Tewkesbury, England, on Monday. ((Simon Dawson/Associated Press))
Forecasters warned Monday that water levels could rise to a "critical level, and Britain's Environmental Agency issuednine severe flood warnings across the country.

The agency was closely monitoring the Thames and Severn rivers, which were swollen to dangerous levels after Friday's12 centimetres of rain drenched parts of England and Wales in just hours.

Floodwaters contaminated the local treatment plants at Tewkesbury, a town 180 kilometres northwest of London, and at least 350,000 people may soon be without water.

Morewet weatheris expected and meteorologists do not expect the rainfall to peak until Tuesday.

The national Environmental Agency said it is concerned that the Severn and Thames riverscould be overwhelmed,describingthe situation in the southwest Midlands and Oxfordshire as "critical."

Thousands without electricity

The flooding has forced hundreds of evacuations in central and southern England andrescue crews were still rescuing stranded people.Some towns are running out of clean drinking water, while others are at risk of losing electricity.

Rescue workers move local residents and animals to high ground at Haw Bridge near Tewksbury, England, on Sunday. ((RSPCA/Associated Press))

So far, the Royal Air Force has airlifted 120 people, including 87 trapped in a trailer park in Gloucestershire county in central England, in one of the largest peacetime operations in theforce's history.

In Gloucestershire, the flood zone epicentre, located 160 kilometres west of London, water in some areaswas receding. But local police said the situation was worsening in other areas, including in Gloucestershire and the western county of Herefordshire, where 48,000 homes were without electricity after waterseeped into a power station.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Gordon Brown toured the area amid criticism that the government acted too late.

The government will formally review the flooding, concentrating on drainage and protecting infrastructure from future flooding, he said.

In Oxford, more than 1,500 people, including seniorsfrom nursing homes, were evacuated from their houses to a local football stadium, the BBC reported.

With files from the Associated Press