Driver dies in flood-hit UK

2012-11-23 20:04
Members of a police rescue team retrieve a vehicle in which a man died after being trapped in flood waters and wedged under a bridge following heavy rainfall in Chew Stoke, Somerset, southwest England. (AFP)

Members of a police rescue team retrieve a vehicle in which a man died after being trapped in flood waters and wedged under a bridge following heavy rainfall in Chew Stoke, Somerset, southwest England. (AFP)

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London - Authorities in flood-hit Britain warned on Friday of more torrential downpours at the weekend, after a man died when he became trapped in his car in rising waters.

A night of widespread heavy rain and gale-force winds left thousands of homes without power, while more than 100 people were evacuated as winds reached more than 138km/h.

The driver died after his vehicle became wedged under a bridge on Thursday night near a swollen ford at Chew Stoke in Somerset, southwest England, Avon Fire and Rescue Service said.

The Environment Agency issued flood warnings for 75 areas across Britain on Friday, with the southwest of the country the worst affected.

Continued risk

"Emergency teams from the Environment Agency have been working through the night to shore up defences, monitor river levels, clear blockages from watercourses and pump out flood water from towns," the agency said.

"There is a continued risk of surface water and river flooding this weekend across southwest, central and northwest England and Wales," it added.

"Rain will return to all parts of the country on Saturday with the heaviest and most persistent rain in western England and parts of Wales. River flooding is likely with the possibility of significant disruption.

"This rain spreads north and east, increasing flood risk in northeast and northwest England on Sunday."

Flood alerts

The Environment Agency expected flooding in 44 locations in the southwest, 27 in central England and 13 in the east of the country.

Flood alerts, meaning that flooding is possible, were in place for another 206 areas.

The Met Office weather agency said some areas saw up to 60mm of rain fall during the day Thursday, causing further river and surface water flooding.

The highest winds were recorded at Capel Curig in Wales, gusting over 129km/hour, but much of the country experienced winds between 97-113km/hour overnight.

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