Europe

Monday 28 July 2014

Video: David Cameron pledges help after another death as torrential rain batters Britain

Published 26/11/2012|08:38

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Men push a car out of flood water in Hathern, central England. Photo: Reuters

THE Prime Minister promised the British government would "ensure everything is being done to help" after winds and torrential rain left one person dead and forced hundreds from their homes.

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David Cameron's comments came as the Environment Agency revealed more than 800 homes have been flooded, with thousands of motorists across the country being rescued from water-logged roads.



Forecasters have warned there may be worse to come and after residents in the South West suffered from the floods over the weekend, people in the Midlands are now braced for the worst as bad weather moves northwards.



And rain causing floods is likely to remain until tomorrow night, forecasters predicted



The storms have already caused devastation across large swathes of the country.



A 21-year-old woman was killed and two people were seriously injured in Devon when they was crushed by a tree as wild winds whipped southern England.



It follows the death of a man on Thursday, who died when his car became wedged under a bridge near a ford in Rectory Fields, Chew Stoke, Somerset.



A 50-year-old man also died after falling into a canal in Watford on Saturday.



Kevin Wilkinson was walking with friends along a towpath in Watford shortly after 4am when it is believed he fell in.



Cambridgeshire Police said yesterday that the death of a 70-year-old man whose car plunged into a river near Earith, on Saturday night, was not weather related.



Up to 15mm of rain is expected to fall across the spine of Britain today, less than the 30mm of rain in pockets of the West Country or the 40mm to 50mm possible in the North and north Wales, but meteorologists said it would offer little respite to weary homeowners keen to begin the clean-up.



Mr Cameron yesterday wrote on Twitter: "Shocking scenes of flooding in Cornwall and around the country.



"Govt will help ensure everything is being done to help."



The Environment Agency has continued to issue warnings, although it downgraded its alerts so there are no severe flood warnings. At one point yesterday four were in place as water flooded through villages in Cornwall.



The agency now has now issued more than 550 alerts, including 280 flood warnings - the second strongest alert - confined largely to the Midlands as bands of rain which brought sorrow and destruction to the South West moved northwards.



Property owners across the country are braced for another deluge.



James Wilby, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "There is a fair bit of rain to come, and the rain risk in terms of potential flooding will be until the end of tomorrow.



"There will be rain in places until then, and it will become drier and more settled after that."



Mr Wilby said the risk of heavy rainfall today was greatest in northern England, north Wales and the South West.



He said: "There will be 40mm to 50mm across north England and north Wales in the next 24 hours, so there will be potential for flooding where the ground is already saturated."



Yesterday Yorkshire, Warwickshire and Wiltshire were also badly affected by the deluges.



Environment Minister Richard Benyon met people in Malmesbury where 3ft (90cm) of water was reported in some parts of the Wiltshire town.



He described the clear-up work as "heroic", adding: "While many houses have been flooded, some haven't because of the efforts of these people.



"The Government's job, first of all is to make sure people are as prepared as possible with a changing climate ... for these extremes of weather. Secondly, we've got to continue building flood defences."



Both the RAC and AA breakdown services reported surges in flood-related call-outs as roads and highways across the country were closed due to perilous standing water.



The AA answered about 12,000 breakdowns yesterday, including almost 700 cases of people stuck in flood water or mud, a spokesman said.



Press Association

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