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FOR BRITONS, FLOODING EASES, SUN COMES OUT

Gasoline-powered pumps roared into action Tuesday as stunned Britons tried to dry out their houses after the worst flooding in more than half a century.

Downstream from the worst-hit areas, residents nervously watched river levels, fearing the runoff from the floods could inundate new areas of western England.

"Every time you see the rain come, you think. 'Oh, God,' " said Valerie Long, as she tore out drenched carpet from her home near the swollen River Thames in Buscot, about 70 miles west of London.

One man drowned Tuesday after jumping into a rain-swollen river. A woman trapped in her home in the town of Tewkesbury lost twins when she went into labor prematurely and paramedics could not reach her by land.

Police in Tewkesbury were looking for a 19-year-old man who disappeared after leaving a pub Saturday as flooding increased.

Although sunshine helped shrink water levels Tuesday, more rain was expected in the next few days. Forecasters, however, said additional flooding wasn't expected.

"Rainfall-wise, the worst is over, certainly for the working week," said John Hammond of Met Office, the national weather service.

Queen Elizabeth II sent a message of support to flooded areas, saying she was "deeply concerned."

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