Storms: Two killed as wind and rain batter Britain

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Media caption,

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

Two people have died and more than 800 homes have been flooded after storms hit parts of England and Wales.

A woman was killed by a falling tree in Exeter on Saturday night, while a 70-year-old man died after his car crashed into a swollen river in Cambridgeshire.

Devon and Cornwall have been among the worst hit areas, with hundreds of homes flooded. One severe flood warning is in place in Helston, Cornwall.

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".

The Environment Agency confirmed that 816 homes had been flooded as a result of the heavy rain.

Apart from Devon and Cornwall, homes and properties have been flooded in Malmesbury in Wiltshire, Kempsey in Worcestershire, and areas of Gloucestershire. Houses have been evacuated in some areas.

In Kempsey, new £1m water pumps intended to protect against flooding failed overnight.

The Environment Agency said an engineer would be stationed at the pumps overnight to manually activate the system, in case it fails again.

Media caption,

Environment Minister Richard Benyon: "I am so impressed with how the emergency services and Environment Agency have responded"

There are more than 270 flood alerts - indicating people should prepare for possible flooding - in England and Wales and more than 220 other flood warnings in place across England, which mean people should take action because flooding is expected.

Of these, about 60 are in the South West and around 110 in the Midlands.

The BBC Weather Centre said further heavy rain is expected to affect Wales and south-western parts of England during Sunday afternoon and evening.

Given how saturated the ground is at the moment, people should be aware of the risk of localised flooding, forecasters said.

In developments around the country:

  • In Malmesbury, four people were rescued from their homes after what the mayor called the worst flooding in 70 years
  • In Solihull in the West Midlands, a number of roads have been closed or have become impassable due to flood water
  • 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
  • Ten homes have been evacuated after a large landslide caused by heavy rain in Old Sodbury near Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire
  • A 12-month-old baby was rescued from flooding in Oldwick Lane, Blagdon, Somerset on Saturday night, it has emerged. A boat was used by Avon Fire and Rescue to rescue the baby and their family from their stranded car
  • Many roads have been closed due to flooding, particularly across the south west region, and parts of some motorways are closed because of flooding
  • Flooding is affecting many parts of North Yorkshire, with several roads closed across the county. And more than 20 roads in Gloucestershire - including part of the M5 motorway - have been closed because of heavy rain
  • National Rail said there were delays between Newton Abbot and Exeter St Davids due to flooding and a landslip. The replacement buses have been cancelled on some routes
  • Network Rail said trains were likely to be disrupted between Exeter, Taunton and Bristol Temple Meads until Monday
  • Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service said a number of homes have been affected by flooding, while heavy rain has affected parts of Leicestershire including Charnwood, Blaby and Hinckley and Bosworth.
  • First Great Western has warned passengers who were intending to travel between south-west England and London on Sunday or Monday morning not to travel
  • Staffordshire fire service says it dealt with a high number of weather-related calls, including around the Stone and Tean areas
  • Tuesday's all-weather horse racing meeting at Southwell in Nottinghamshire has been abandoned due to rising flood waters
  • A body thought to be that of a man who fell into a canal in fog in Watford, Hertfordshire, has been found

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.

Image caption,
Flooding led to part of Malmesbury High Street in Wiltshire being cut off

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 it 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.

Inspector Andrew Webber of Devon and Cornwall Police told Sky News the woman was 21 and had been living in a small tent placed next to the wall at the roadside when the spruce tree fell on it.

Environment minister Richard Benyon said: "I am so impressed with how the emergency services and Environment Agency have responded - we have more than 500 houses that have been flooded and it had been a miserable experience for them.

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

"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."

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.

The Met Office has been forecasting heavy rain and strong winds across some parts of the country over the weekend and has yellow warnings in place. which advise people to "be aware" of weather conditions.

On Thursday, a man died in floods after he became trapped in his car under a bridge in Chew Stoke near Bath.

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