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A tide of Internet users looking for information on the UK flood situation has shaken the Environment Agency's Web site and caused it to ask its own staff not to use the service if they can avoid it.

Extremely heavy rainfall last month put large areas of Britain under water. The rains eventually stopped, but the ground is saturated and a recent burst of rain has put more areas under threat. The Environment Agency helpfully put searchable maps up on its site to warn people if they were living in a risky area.

Tapping in your postcode will bring up a map of your area complete with possible dangers. It's a cracking service and we applaud the Agency for getting it together. However, as with such things, its practicality proved too much for the government's servers, leaving many unable to access the maps.

A notice on the site now says: "Note that the current high demand for our maps may mean that you are unsuccessful at your first attempt. Please try again later if so!" So much so that the Agency put out an all-staff email dissuading them from checking it out. Oh dear.

That said, we got into it first time this morning, so it's not all bad. ®

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