A "MAJOR incident" has been declared in Cornwall as flash floods sparked travel chaos in the south west.
Torrential rain left large stretches of the main A30 impassable today as the Environment Agency urged drivers to avoid the flood water.
Dramatic footage showed several feet of brown water rising against shop doors and windows in Hayle, where 50 homes had to be evacuated.
Around 25 flood warnings and 167 flood alerts are currently in place across England, mainly in the south and south west around the river Severn.
A yellow warning for rain has been expanded to cover most of the south and southwest until early on Friday.
Cornwall is likely to be worst affected, with a five-day warning in place until Sunday.
Devon and Cornwall Police have declared a major incident in response to the Hayle flooding.
A spokesperson for Cornwall Council said: "Our advice to residents if you are worried about flooding is to prepare yourselves, put sandbags out and move any valuables from the floor.
"We would always advise drivers not to attempt to drive through floodwater."
More heavy rain is forecast, with predictions of Christmas floods - but today the EA warned that some regions are still 'in drought' and we need the heavens to keep opening.
The agency pinpointed East Anglia, including Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, where they say rainfall has been below the long-term average in recent years and the region is still officially classed as being 'in drought'.
They said the monsoon-like weather has only just started to put back water into underground aquifers that have been suffering from below-average rainfall since early 2017.