Tuesday 23 January 2018

Video: Second man dies as flooding brings chaos across Britain

A MAN has died after becoming trapped in his car in flood water as heavy rain continued to bring chaos to large parts of Britain.

The victim's vehicle was wedged under a bridge near to a ford at Rectory Fields, in Chew Stoke, Somerset, at 8.50pm last night.

Fire crews and police attended the scene and the man was found in the car and pronounced dead.

He was the second man to die due to the weather after a 26-year-old man was killed in a crash in stormy conditions in Devon yesterday.

Officials were still working to identify the driver and his next of kin this morning after another night of torrential downpours which have so far left thousands of homes without power and more than 100 people evacuated as winds reached more than 86mph.

An Avon Fire and Rescue Service spokesman added: "Tragically we have had one fatality.

"Emergency services recovered a man from the vehicle, he was then left in the care of paramedics and I understand that while being taken to hospital he was declared dead en route.

"The coroner has been informed and there will be a full investigation."

The awful weather, which is expected to continue this weekend, has been worst in Wales and the South West where flooding left hundreds of drivers stranded.

And many roads were left impassable as homeowners were again forced to protect their properties as water deluged swathes of the country.

This morning the Environment Agency had issued 91 flood warnings with a total of 213 less serious flood alerts in place across England and Wales.

In the South West there were 45 flood warnings and 58 alerts.

The majority of the UK was hit by the storms as they were pushed eastwards yesterday, causing flash flooding.

While the rainfall overnight was lighter compared to earlier in the day, much of it fell on already saturated ground.

The torrential rain also brought disruption for thousands of commuters.

Many train services in the South West and connections to London Paddington were either cancelled or delayed.

And the misery continued this morning with service providers reporting more problems.

Minor delays were being experienced on cross-Channel ferry crossings from the Port of Dover in Kent.

Chew Stoke resident David Smith, 76, said it was the second time in 24 hours in which a 4x4 had got into trouble crossing the ford.

Mr Smith, who has lived in the village for 22 years, said: "About 24 hours ago, a Land Rover came past here and I flagged him down and told him he ought not to try and cross the ford, but he did and he was swept away in the middle of the ford.

"Fortunately, his vehicle was caught by one of the bollards on the road and he was able to climb out of the window on to the roof.

"We tied a rope around him, from my garden, just in case he was swept away and sort of secured him until the fire brigade arrived about 20 minutes later.

"It was a crazy, crazy thing to do."

He added: "This is the first time we've experienced this kind of flooding. My garage has been flooded twice in 48 hours and we're four foot above the road line.

"We're flooded regularly, but we've experienced nothing like the last few months because this year has been particularly wet, of course.

"The river has three entry points into the road and they sort of come together and cause quite substantial flooding, last night certainly three-and-a-half to four feet up my wall.

"The speed of the water was quite horrendous, it really was, I've seen nothing like it. It shoots under that gully and cascades into the roadway here.

"It took just 20 minutes from being fairly benign to flooding up to the top of my four-foot wall. It's very rapid, because the water comes in from three directions. It's quite dramatic really."

Press Association

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