Motorists were warned last night to watch out for localised flooding, heavy winds and falling branches as severe weather continued to hit the region.

More than 1.2in (30mm) of rain fell in the West Midlands during Monday night and the Met Office was forecasting the heavy rain would continue until Friday, with the West Midlands and the South of England expected to be the worst affected.

Rural areas such as Herefordshire, Shropshire, Worcestershire, Warwickshire and Telford & Wrekin were likely to have some of the worst conditions.

The Environment Agency issued nine flood warnings across the region for rivers including the Severn, Teme, Wye, Avon and Stour.

An Environment Agency spokesman said rivers in Worcestershire - the area expected to be worst hit by flooding - should peak by this afternoon.

Communities still recovering from the summer's chaos remained particularly anxious.

In Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, the Avon burst its banks on Friday and showed no sign of receding.

Laurence Robertson, MP for Tewkesbury, said he intended to put a question to the Commons highlighting the latest situation. He said not enough had been done since his constituency was left devastated by the floods last July and many people were still living in fear.

He said: "The fact people are really worried and living on a knife edge is not right.

"There are still hundreds living in caravans and they're nowhere near to moving back home.

"And yet again they've got water at their door." Mr Robertson said authorities shied away from claiming responsibility for flood defences.

He said: "It's a big problem ascertaining where responsibility lies - there are so many different authorities, it's confusing.

"Months have been wasted trying to identify responsibility, someone needs to come forward and just fix the problems." Despite criticism from MPs, a spokesman for the Environment Agency said it had implemented an "extensive programme along the main river network".

He said: "We've been looking at urban water courses, removing blockages.

"We've also been working with our partners to assess where capital is needed."

West Mercia Police yesterday issued guidance to motorists and warned those driving "high-sided vehicles" such as lorries and vans to avoid making unnecessary journeys in strong winds.

Drivers were also advised to reduce their speed to reduce the chances of accidents.

Sergeant John Roberts, the force's casualty reduction manager said: "With the ground already saturated and more rain predicted for this week, there is a high chance West Mercia will experience more localised flooding.

"If you come across a flooded road do not attempt to cross it as you cannot judge how deep the water will get and what hidden hazards may be under the water.

"Our advice to motorists is find an alternative route, six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over, while two feet of water will float your car.

"We strongly advise that motorists do not ignore road closure signs, the signs have been put there for your safety."

Motorists that have to make journeys are advised to:

* Make sure wipers and lights are in good working order; n make sure the car battery is fully charged;

* Check that tyres have plenty of tread depth and are maintained at the correct pressure.

The Highways Agency urged drivers to plan their journey, check the weather forecast, road conditions and their route for delays on local radio before leaving home.

It also recommended motorists carry warm clothing and an emergency pack, including food and water, boots, de-icer, a torch, a spade if snow is forecast and make sure they have plenty of fuel for your journey.

* For weather updates visit the Met Office website www.metoffice.gov.uk and for travel advice go to www.highways.gov.uk