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Weather disrupts 'Manic Monday' shopping spree

The much anticipated ‘Manic Monday’ - forecast to be the busiest shopping day of the year- is thought to have missed expectations after storms hit much of the UK yesterday.

Roads were closed off and trains cancelled in the South of England, while emergency services were on call to deal with flooding in Wales and England. At least three people were killed as a result of the storm.

By yesterday evening the Environment Agency had put the number of flood warnings requiring “immediate action” at 57, while those who needed to “be prepared” rose from 184 to 218 during the day. Some 55% of these were in the South East and South West of England.

It is not clear exactly how businesses have been affected by the storm, however it is thought to have dented chances of retailers reaching the £3.6bn in takings predicted by analysts at Visa.

Sky reported that the last-minute spending spree, dubbed ‘Manic Monday’, had “largely failed to materialise, with strong winds and heavy rain combining to force late-Christmas shoppers indoors”.

According to the Guardian, “the miserable weather deterred some people but, by midday, the numbers of shoppers out and about was up 4.6% compared with the same day last year.”

It comes as businesses and communities affected by flooding are still trying to get back on their feet.

Last week flood recovery minister Brandon Lewis chaired a meeting of agencies and services involved in helping communities recover from the recent severe tidal surge and flooding across some parts of the UK.

He said: “I know that many households and businesses have been disrupted by the severe tidal surge and resulting floods that have affected parts of the country. That is why we have announced that we will reimburse councils under the Bellwin scheme to help them clear up streets, remove debris from roads and footpaths, shore up buildings and remove dangerous trees.”

There will be a further progress meeting in the New Year to ensure communities were receiving the support they need.

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