Parts of northwest England already hit hard by flooding in recent weeks are under "severe" flood warnings because of forecasts for more heavy rain.

The Environmental Agency warnings issued Saturday mean there is a danger of loss of life due to flooding in those areas.

An Army company has helped build temporary flood defenses in Cumbria in the northwest of England as residents struggle.

Floods Minister Rory Stewart says rainfall in the flooded areas is unprecedented.

He said in some areas, a month's worth of rain could fall in one day on ground already saturated from earlier rains.

There are more than 110 additional flood alerts for other parts of England and Wales.

The government's emergency ministerial group, known as Cobra, met on Christmas Day to make contingency plans for more rainfall.