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Flood warnings issued in the Anglia region

There are flood warnings in force in Cambridgeshire and Suffolk. Credit: PA

After a night of heavy rain and, in some places, snow, rivers have been put under strain. Flood warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency in parts of Cambridgeshire.

More than a fortnight's worth of rain fell in some areas in just 12 hours making it the wettest day since August.

In the 24 hours to 9am on Saturday, Holbeach in Lincolnshire had 28 mm (1.1 inches) of rain while Norwich recorded 27 mm.

  • Ellington, Hamerton and the Alconburys

Flooding is expected for Hamerton, Upton, Alconbury, Alconbury Weston and Ellington

"Water levels along the Alconbury and Ellington Brooks continue to rise following last night’s rain. At Hamerton levels are still rising but may peak in the next few hours. At Alconbury Weston levels have risen fast and may continue to rise and stay high for some hours. This water will then make its way down to Alconbury and Brampton through the day keeping levels high."

– Environment Agency

An overnight flood warning on the Chediston watercourse at Halesworth was lifted at 9.35am on Saturday.

There are also several of the lower level Flood Alerts in place on rivers in Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

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Christmas rainbow as big chill sets in with risk of snow

A large swathe of central Britain has been warned to be ready for snow as a cold snap brings freezing temperatures in the lead-up to the New Year.

An area including Northern Ireland, Wales, the Midlands, East Anglia, the North West, Yorkshire and as far south east as London and Kent has been put on a yellow alert for snow by the Met Office.

A rainbow was spotted in Northampton around midday on Christmas Day Credit: Janet Barker

There was a Christmas Day rainbow in Northampton as blue skies changed to grey around lunchtime, immediately followed by rain as rainbow disappeared.

Overnight into Boxing Day was also the coldest night of the year so far as the temperature at Braemar in Scotland dropped to -8.5°C.

The lowest temperatures in the Anglia region were around -2 to -3°C and were still below freezing in a few places at 10am.

If you would like to share your weather pictures, you can email them to angliaweather@itv.com

Milton Keynes a strong performer in housing market

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Homes typically piled £42 a day on to their value throughout 2014 as Britain's housing market recovery gathered momentum, research from a property website has revealed.

The average property price increased by £15,191 over the last year to reach £268,895 on average, according to Zoopla. Milton Keynes was among the town's and cities recording particularly strong performances in terms of house price increases this year, Zoopla said. Ipswich was one of the weakest performers.

In the East of England The average property value this month was £287,868, that's up by £20,696 or 7.8%.

In the East Midlands the average price was £182,797, up by £5,145 or2.9%.

Areas at greatest risk of seeing snow on Boxing Day

Snow could strike parts of of the Anglia region later on Boxing Day and overnight into Saturday, as forecasters warn of a cold snap hitting Britain with freezing temperatures in the lead-up to the New Year.

The Met Office said there is some uncertainty about which regions will see snow, but where it does fall there could be accumulations of between 2cm and 4cm and in excess of 10cm in areas of higher ground.

Areas at risk of seeing some snow on Boxing Day and Saturday. Credit: Met Office

Forecasters still say the risk of snow in the Anglia region is still on a knife edge.

It's a marginal situation where rain could turn to snow for a time most likely during the evening of Boxing Day and overnight into Saturday.

If you do see snow, email your pictures to angliaweather@itv.com

Snow warning for Boxing Day

Area affected by yellow warning of the risk of snow. Credit: Met Office

The Met Office have issued a snow warning for the Anglia region for Boxing Day. After a frosty start to the day tomorrow, a band of rain is expected to spread east across the UK, turning to snow in places as it mixes with the colder air.

"An area of rain, sleet and snow is expected to spread eastwards across parts of Northern Ireland, England and Wales during Boxing Day before clearing during the evening and overnight. A lot of uncertainty surrounds how much snow will occur, but there is the risk of several centimetres even at low levels. As precipitation clears, roads could turn very icy.

The public should be aware of the potential for disruption from snow. Please watch for updates to this warning. especially if travelling.

There remains much more uncertainty than average regarding the track of this depression which in turn leads to uncertainty about the location of the heaviest precipitation and how much snow there will be. Where snow does occur accumulations of 2 to 4 cm are likely even to lower levels."

– Met Office Chief Meteorologist

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Warning over festive fare for feathered friends

Bird feeding advice Credit: Tim Goode/PA Wire

The RSPB is urging people to put on a festive feast to fatten up garden birds this Christmas.

But the Bedfordshire-based charity has warned people not to leave out cooked turkey fat, which could prove fatal.

The fat remains soft even when cooled and it could easily smear onto birds’ feathers and ruin their water-proofing and insulating qualities which is essential if they are to survive the cold winter weather.

The fat could also turn rancid, providing an ideal breeding ground for salmonella and other food poisoning bacteria.

Richard James, RSPB Wildlife Advisor, said:

Often people believe they’re helping birds by pouring the fat from Christmas joints onto bird tables or mixing it with bird seed, but this is a completely different kind of fat and could have disastrous effects. Only pure fats such as lard and suet should be used to make homemade fat balls which will give birds’ the energy and nutrients to survive the winter cold.

If you do find yourself with a little extra time over the holidays and want to cook up a festive feast for your garden birds from scratch, then the RSPB’s website has a selection of recipes you can follow.”

– Richard James, RSPB Wildlife Advisor

Phoenix Choir off to represent the UK in Las Vegas next year

A Choir made up with members from Cambridge, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire - and are off to represent the UK in Las Vegas next year.

Phoenix Choir have come a long way since they started with 6 members in 1978.

Sometimes referred to as Potton’s best kept secret, in their 36 year history Phoenix have consistently been in the top 5 choruses in the UK and are the current silver medal chorus in Region 31. And now they are off to Las Vegas.

Click below to watch nativity scenes from St Barnabas School in Wellingborough and a Christmas message from The Dean of Ely Cathedral who are accompanied by music from Phoenix Choir:

'Black Friday' lives up to its name as ambulance crews kept busy

An East of England Ambulance Service crew heads out in response to a call. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

The region's ambulance trust dealt with more than 2,700 emergency calls last night as crews battled through what has been dubbed "Black Friday".

Emergency services had expected it to be a busy evening as many people headed out for festive celebrations on the final weekend before Christmas.

The East of England Ambulance Service said it saw a 7.5% increase on the average volume of daily calls over the last four weeks.

The trust's locality director Matt Broad urged people to think carefully before dialling 999.

“We were extremely busy yesterday and last night, but I would like to thank our staff in the control rooms and on the frontline who worked really hard to provide a good service to patients.

"The Christmas and winter period is always busy for the ambulance service and I would encourage anyone who needs medical help to choose well – if you need help but it is not an emergency please call 111, which is open 24 hours a day and who will be able to get the right help for you.”

– Matt Broad, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust.
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