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UK Weather: Floods And Storms Move North As Cameron Promises Help (PICTURES)

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North England and Wales are bracing for a deluge with forecasters warning the bad weather hitting the south could move northwards.

Following a weekend of weather chaos, there are now 300 flood warnings and 300 flood alerts in England and Wales.

County Durham, Teesside, North Yorkshire and the Conwy area of north Wales have been told to expect up to 3ins of rain by the end on the day.

flood

Flood water continues to block the main road through the centre of the village of Ruishton, near Taunton

Forecasters have warned there may be worse to come and after residents in the South West suffered from the floods over the weekend, with further rainfall and 60mph winds expected overnight, with experts warning people the conditions pose a "serious threat to life".

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

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.

uk weather

Double yellow lines and no waiting signs did not stop this fisherman taking advantage of the rising floodwater from the River Ouse in York

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 Western Way, Exeter, 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.

uk weather

Floods have caused devastation across the country

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 near Wiggenhall Road 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.


David Cameron
Shocking scenes of flooding in Cornwall and around the country. Govt will help ensure everything is being done to help.

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.

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.

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A vehicle manages to get across flooded Somerset Levels as heavy rain continues to fall on already drenched fields

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."

car trapped

A vehicle in which a man died after being trapped in flood waters is wedged under a bridge following heavy rainfall in Chew Stoke, Somerset, southwest England

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.

But that has not deterred many motorists from taking their chances, incurring the wrath of one emergency worker who hit out at risk-takers.

Nathan Hudson, general manager of West Midlands Ambulance Service, appealed for members of the public to stop endangering their and rescue workers' lives.

"People who attempt to pass through flooded roads are not only putting their own lives at risk, but also the lives of the emergency services staff who have to rescue them.

"A little bit of common sense from the public will ensure that no one's life is put in any unnecessary danger."

Emergency services urged motorists to take extra precautions when tackling roads today, following the anticipated heavy rainfall.

glasto floods

Flood water can be seen in fields surrounding the Glastonbury Tor

Gloucestershire Police said they anticipate disruption on some of the county's roads during the early morning rush hour, with flooding possible on main routes in and out of Tewkesbury.

National Rail said the severe weather is disrupting services across the South West.

Trains were cancelled between Exeter St Davids and Yeovil Junction because of a landslip at Honiton and flooding near Axminster in Devon.

Stephen Gilbert, the Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay, said the Government needs to act ensure insurance companies were able to provide home and business owners with affordable cover.

He said: "Yet again I call on the Government to reach an agreement with insurers that will keep flood insurance available and affordable.

"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."

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