Floods in UK: More than 800 homes flooded as storms hit

 

Aerial views of Exeter show the extent of the flooding along the River Exe

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More than 800 homes have been flooded after storms hit parts of England and Wales, the Environment Agency has said.

It said 816 houses had been affected after a band of heavy rain and strong winds swept across the country.

Devon and Cornwall are badly hit, along with Malmesbury in Wiltshire and Kempsey in Worcestershire.

Two people have died in the storm - a woman killed by a falling tree in Exeter and a man whose car crashed into a swollen river in Cambridgeshire.

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

A spokesman for the force said: "This particular accident could have happened at any time of year."

David Cameron has talked of "shocking scenes of flooding".

The prime minister's Twitter message also said the government "will help ensure everything is being done to help".

There are about 260 flood warnings in place across England, which means people should take action because flooding is expected.

Further rain

Of these, about 59 are in the South West and 144 are in the Midlands.

But the last severe flood warning, which was for Helston in Cornwall has now been downgraded.

Weather information

From the BBC:

Elsewhere:

The Environment Agency has also issued about 280 flood alerts - indicating people should prepare for possible flooding.

According to its website there is still a medium risk of flooding on Monday in North Yorkshire, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Devon, and Gwynedd and Conwy in Wales.

In developments around the country:

  • In Malmesbury, four people were rescued from their homes after what the mayor called the worst flooding there in 70 years
  • Residents of Kempsey, Worcestershire, criticise the village's new £1.5m flood defences which they say has made the flooding worse than in 2007
  • In Plymouth, Devon, about 60 people were evacuated due to safety concerns in a dozen locations and there were numerous reports of people being stuck in their cars
  • A number of homes have been evacuated after a large landslide caused by heavy rain in Old Sodbury near Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire
  • Many roads have been closed due to flooding, particularly across the south west region and the Midlands
  • Network Rail said trains were likely to be disrupted between Exeter, Taunton and Bristol Temple Meads until Monday
  • First Great Western has warned passengers who were intending to travel between south-west England and London on Monday morning not to travel
  • Tuesday's all-weather horse racing meeting at Southwell in Nottinghamshire has been abandoned due to rising flood waters

Dan Corns, a resident of Kempsey, Worcestershire: "It is unacceptable the pumps failed"

The man who died in Cambridgeshire was driving a car when it left the road shortly before 17:00 GMT on Saturday and went into a river near Earith.

He was pulled from the water by a member of the public and attended to by a paramedic but was pronounced dead on the way to the hospital.

And Devon and Cornwall Police said the dead woman was seriously injured when a tree fell on her in Western Way at about 23:50 GMT. She died after being taken to hospital in Exeter. Three other people were treated for minor injuries.

As well as the severe flood warning and flood warnings across England and Wales, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Sepa, has two flood alerts in place. There are none in Northern Ireland.

Chris Fawkes from the BBC Weather Centre said there had been about 60 mm of rain in the last 24 hours in south-west England.

He said: "A weather front will slowly move across north England and north Wales Sunday night and Monday, and it's here that we are likely to see some further serious flooding."

Start Quote

The government must act to make sure people aren't left without insurance when the worst does happen”

End Quote Stephen Gilbert Lib Dem MP

The Met Office has issued an Amber weather warning for 50 to 70 mm (2-3 in) of rain by the end of Monday.

An Amber warning has also been issued for north Wales, with 50 to 70 mm of rain expected, locally 90 mm over hills.

Earlier, environment minister Richard Benyon said he was "impressed with how the emergency services and Environment Agency have responded" to wet weather.

"What we learned for the floods in 2007 has been invaluable and what the local authorities are doing with the emergency services has helped," he said.

The minister added: "We are better prepared, but no one is taking away from the misery that these floods have causes or the threat of further floods. You can only feel sorry for those people.

"Our estimate is that about 20,000 homes have been protected by flood defences that have built in the past few years."

Meanwhile, Stephen Gilbert, the Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay, said the events of the last two days "should be a wake-up call for a government that needs to grip this issue and do so quickly".

"We know that flash flooding is increasing because of climate change and there's now little we can do to stop it, but the government must act to make sure people aren't left without insurance when the worst does happen," he said.

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UK forecast for 01/08/2014

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  • rate this
    +11

    Comment number 63.

    @56..theres plenty of money knocking about..its just that the rich wont part with it by paying the taxes that we mere mortals have to...if they spent as much energy on these problems as they do in fiddling their taxes the country would be a lot better place to live ..Always remember 1% of the population own 99% of the wealth..and there is not a cat in hells chance of these people paying it..

  • rate this
    +22

    Comment number 62.

    Outside our house there is a drain in the gutter; it only takes the lightest drizzle before the drain fills up and overflows leaving a puddle which covers half the road.

    I've spoken to the the Council numerous times; have they taken any action? What do you think...? We could float off down the road for all they care.

  • rate this
    +27

    Comment number 61.

    41.colinlyne
    I think you are being totally disingenous to the Agency. They work excessively hard on a much reduced budget. And without the flood defenses they have built the problems would have been much worse. When you get phenominal amounts of rain, you get serious flooding, you don't have to be Einstien to work that out! Plus an increasing number of homes are being built of flood plains!

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 60.

    @7.Liquid Lunch

    The EA have a text system in place for warnings we have flood alerts, flood warnings, and 24hr television news etc, etc. Anyone who watches the news knew it was coming and had time to prepare.
    As for the US, was everybody ok in New orleans during Katrina thanks to their technology?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 59.

    #19. Graphis

    The sad thing is that some will actually believe you.

    Has ramifications. They walk among us.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 58.

    I don't get why we have so little flood control in this country, we always flood in winter months maybe not this bad but somewhere always floods. It seems sensible in my mind that regulations for housing and transport systems near water should have in place a way to drain water or a service for this. Personally I think we should collect water since we have draughts in the summer months.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 57.

    No 33.Tidymess.That's exactly what I thought but although it does make a difference it actually isn't very much.Unfortunately all this flooding is just NATURE, water will always find it's natural level and if your house was built on a flood plain well...... It is probably the same as Coastal Erosion, if you stop it in one place it just moves farther down the Coast or River in the case of flooding.

  • rate this
    +9

    Comment number 56.

    At the end of the day it is all down to cost. Do you stop building "cheaper" housing on once classed floodplains? Do you invest in the infrastructure to provide storm drainage?

    The fact is this Country isn't prepared to spend. Problems like this are seen as being infrequent, just like the very bad winters we had a few years ago.

    Trouble is, how many times is infrequent?

  • rate this
    +48

    Comment number 55.

    "Graphis
    Sudden climate change is caused by axial tilt: the sheer weight of the Dec 2004 pacific tsunami caused the angle of the earth to change by a few degrees"

    If that were the case astronomers would be aware of it as they would have to realign every telescope on earth and the pole star would no longer be where it was. Has this happened? No, definitely not! Where do you get such junk from?

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 54.

    Re 43 Or is that councils employ too many people sitting in offices, having meetings and drinking tea and coffee and not enough people out doing the hard work clearing drains etc??

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 53.

    Some idiot posters on HYS today, there are NO flood plains in Cornwall, just hills, valleys and rivers.

    Yes some areas will flood upcountry that have had houses built on flood plains, perhaps because you have NIMBYS and houses have to be built somewhere.

    Our thoughts are with all those, everywhere who have suffered flood damage.

  • rate this
    +25

    Comment number 52.

    Government will still push to build more and more houses on flood plains and boggy areas and then we will see this far worse in the future.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 51.

    The UK will always take the full brunt of the Atlantic jet stream and over the last few weeks, it has been centred over this country as it was back in the Summer. Two years ago, the jet stream went across Spain and as a result of that, we had those bitterly cold Arctic winds. Twelve months ago, we were experiencing the worst drought ever???

  • Comment number 50.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 49.

    It rains, sometimes very heavily, in a very northern European country...Who'd have thunk it?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 48.

    @ 39 TMR - that was very funny :)))

    I'd like to hear what other plagues and pestilence the bible predicts for us and I'm sure that we can use science to kick out the lot:))

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 47.

    Its sad but the 'someone to blame'(govt) brigade already active.Should force insurance companies to cover, have spent millions we haven't got to prevent this when it only recently started happening. You pays your money and takes your choice where you live. People often brag they've got a nice river view, now they've got a close up. Sad but no-ones fault except nature and you can't sue her

  • rate this
    +22

    Comment number 46.

    Just out of curiosity ?? are the building rules and regs that cameron the fool wishes to rid this Country of anything to do with whats on here today ?? so in years to come the problems will have been worsened because the man cant see further than the end of the cheque that the developers have donated ??? Best wishes to all who are having problems..and sympathy the those who have lost a loved one..

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 45.

    can only help but think... this is the future.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 44.

    @19Graphis

    Source please.

 

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