Tragic: Kevin Wilkinson, 50, who drowned after falling into the flood-swollen River Colne while walking home in fog with friends in Watford
A woman has been killed by a falling tree while she slept in a tent just hours after a 50-year-old man drowned in a canal as heavy rain and strong winds continue to batter the UK. The woman died in Exeter city centre when a 50ft tree crushed her and injured two other people as a result of storms that have hit the country and are currently wreaking havoc across the Northern England and parts of the South East. She is the third victim of the storms, which claimed the life of Kevin Wilkinson who fell into the Grand Union Canal in Watford at 4am on Saturday.
In Chew Stoke, Somerset, a man in his 70s died after his car was washed down a river when he crossed a ford on Friday and concern is growing for Franciscus Van De Gender, 91, who went missing after going for a walk along the River Thames the same day. More than 800 properties across the West Country, Wales and the Midlands have been hit by flooding since the torrential rain began last week, and residents complained they had not received proper warning of the flood risk.
Forecasters are warning that there is worse still be to come, with further rainfall and 60mph winds expected early today, with warnings that the conditions pose a ‘serious threat to life’. On top of the torrential rain a cold snap is around the corner bringing freezing temperatures and snow showers to many parts of the UK by the end of the week. The Environment Agency is also continuing to warn of further flooding in the next few days. A further 10-15mm of rain is expected in the south-west of England over the next 24 hours, while the North could see as much as 70mm over the same period.
Help! Anne Bartlett and her dog Henry from their flooded property in the centre of the village of Ruishton, near Taunton, after torrential rain battered the region
Swamped: These fields surrounding the Glastonbury Tor on the Somerset Levels are an example of just how extensive the flooding has become in the West Country
A river runs through it: Torrents of foaming water flows through the streets of Newlyn, Cornwall, which was one of the worst-hit ares, on Saturday night
Making the best of it: A woman is given a fireman's lift through ankle-deep floodwater as revellers enjoy a night out in Newlyn, Cornwall
Here we go again: A search and rescue team checks the flooded areas around Tewkesbury, Gloucestershire, which endured such devastating floods earlier this year
David Cameron today promised the Government would step in to aid those in trouble. He tweeted saying: 'Shocking scenes of flooding in Cornwall and around the country. Govt will help ensure everything is being done to help. The West Country bore the brunt of the storm yesterday as near hurricane-force gales hit the area flooding 816 homes since Wednesday. The homeless woman who died in Exeter was killed at 11.50pm on Saturday night when a large spruce tree collapsed on Western Way, Exeter, seriously injuring two other people. Inspector Andrea Webber said she had been living in the tent sheltered against a wall at the roadside when the tree fell on it.
Fatal fall: A woman has died and two others were seriously injured when this spruce tree collapsed on them in Exeter as floods and high winds battered the South West
'Died almost immediately': Police said officers were on the scene in Western Way, Exeter, quickly, but there was very little that could be done to save her
Dangerous: Flood water continues to block the main road through the centre of the village of Ruishton
Heavy rain: A woman wades through flood water in the centre of the village of Ruishton, near Taunton, in Somerset
Yesterday, the woman's red sleeping bag was still at the scene of the tragedy under the huge trunk and fallen garden wall. Ms Webber said: 'It was a very large oak tree that had been there for very many years. 'Obviously we've had lots of heavy weather, it's been raining an awful lot, and the tree for whatever reason came down. It's taken a wall with it when it came down and then on top of that the tent was underneath and the tree has fallen on to the tent. 'There are two males involved with minor injuries and obviously a poor lady of 21 who received fatal injuries at the time.' She said officers were on the scene almost immediately, but there was very little that could be done for the woman and that her injuries were fatal 'almost instantaneously.'
'Poor lady': Inspector Andrea Webber of Devon and Cornwall Police said the woman had been living in a tent sheltered against a wall when the tree collapsed
Relatives have been informed of her death but formal identification has not yet taken place, police said yesterday. The two men also involved in the incident, aged 27 and 35, received medical treatment but were not seriously injured. The Met Office says a new weather front would likely drop a further 10-15mm of rain across the already-saturated south-west overnight. Meanwhile, the North could suffer similar conditions to yesterday's downpours, with some areas, particularly Durham and Middlesbrough, expected to receive up 70mm of rain over the next 24 hours. The Met Office has issued amber weather warnings in those areas due to further threats of flooding and potential dangers on the roads.
Uprooted: The tree collapsed in winds approaching 70mph which buffeted the south-west of England overnight together with heavy rainfall
Gone fishing: This fisherman takes advantage of the rising floodwater from the River Ouse in York, to set up his spot on a city centre road
Causing a splash: Delivering the groceries in Appleton Roebuck, near York, means negotiating the rising floodwaters
Met Office forecaster Helen Chivers told MailOnline: 'The last of the rain from yesterday has now moved away from the north-east of England and Scotland, but there are is some showery rain approaching from the south-west once again. 'Parts of the country from north Wales across Lancashire and North Yorkshire will get rain very much like the south-west had yesterday.' She said conditions should finally settle from Tuesday when a cooler north-easterly front brings in drier conditions for the rest of the week, although some eastern coastal areas may still get showers. Motorists were warned to expect frosts and ice from Wednesday as temperatures drop below freezing overnight and struggle to reach 5C during the day.
People were forced to flee their homes last night as flood water and torrential rain caused 'serious threats to life' in villages in Cornwall. Forecasters last night warned three weeks of rain could have fallen in just three hours overnight. Special rest centres were set up in the worst-hit villages, though Cornwall Council said these were all later stood down as people returned home or went elsewhere as flood threats stabilised. The Environment Agency has reduced the number of severe flood warnings in the South West from four to two, with the River Fowey near Lostwithiel and the River Cober at Helston remaining a serious concern. However, there are more than 200 flood warnings also in place across the country, and 250 flood alerts, the majority in the South West.
Mixed bag: While much of the country is suffering from severe flooding, winter has arrived in Cumbria, as mountain biker Jason Goss found out as he struggled in blizzard conditions on the Pennine Way in northern Pennines
Brrr! As temperatures have dropped in the last few days, it is expected the wintry weather will continue, suggesting this could be the start of a cold winter ahead
Torrential rain: Flood waters reach a river house by the the River Avon near Stratford-upon-Avon floods after a day and night's torrential rain
Rising waters: A car passes through the flood waters by a bridge over the River Avon in Welford-on-Avon
Prime Minister David Cameron today told of his shock at the flooding which has hit the South West and promised to 'ensure everything is being done to help' after a woman died in the chaos. He said on Twitter: 'Shocking scenes of flooding in Cornwall and around the country. Govt will help ensure everything is being done to help.' Mr Cameron's comments came two years after flash floods caused havoc and widespread disruption to mid-Cornwall, and resulted in both the Prime Minister and the Prince of Wales embarking on separate visits to the worst-hit towns and villages to pledge their support.
In Lostwithiel, residents piled sand bags at their doors over fears the River Fowey would again burst its banks this evening, following last night's trouble. Resident Michael Marks, 79, said there had been improvements in the town in the two years since the pair visited. He said: 'The year 2010 was the worst, and last night was the second real flood. 'I think people were pleased to see them, and Prince Charles has followed up on it. We have flood defences and another is being built on the other side of the river. It could have been a lot worse (without their help).' Stephen Gilbert, the Liberal Democrat MP for St Austell and Newquay, said the Government needed to act in ensuring insurance companies were able to provide home and business owners with affordable cover.
Sopping wet: Hay bales stand in flood water in fields surrounding the Glastonbury Tor on the Somerset Levels as yesterday's rain continues to cause disruption
Water, water everywhere: Floodwater can be seen in fields surrounding the Glastonbury Tor on the Somerset Levels. The county was one of the worst hit by yesterday's deluge and high winds
Nature's peril: Floodwater in Somerset, where a family with a 12-month-old baby were rescued after their car became stranded
High seas: A swimmer takes a wave shower by Brighton Pier as high winds smash the waves against the pier
High winds: Stormy conditions battering a number of place across Britain cause high waves at Tynemouth long sands.
Three people had to be brought to safety from a first-floor window in St John's Street, Malmesbury, Wiltshire, after flood waters quickly rose to 3ft feet deep. Ray Sanderson, the Mayor for Malmesbury, said: 'It's the worst flooding in 70 years, I was a boy in Malmesbury and I've never seen water like it. But while much of the country was suffering from severe flooding, snow fell in Cumbria as temperatures plummeted in the North.
In Kennford, Devon, five feet of floodwater raced through the village in what locals say is the worst flooding for 50 years. Some locals managed to get possessions into upstairs rooms but many were caught out by the sudden floods as rain poured off surrounding hills. In Millbrook, east Cornwall, dozens of homes were hit after floodgates were not opened by hard-pressed Environment Agency staff, according to local Tory MP Sheryll Murray who lives in the village. The village was reportedly under 5ft of water and BBC reporter Alison Johns, who lives in the village, said 40 houses were evacuated last night. She said told the BBC that torrents of muddy water had been cascading down the road all yesterday afternoon, into the village and people's homes. Ms Johns said the village's sluice gates had been opened and water was transferred into a gulley, allowing water levels to subside. The RNLI's South West flood rescue team was last night called to assist the emergency services in Exeter, and was put on standby to respond to Helston and Polperro.
Conked out: Men push a car through floodwater in Hathern, Leicestershire, as the overnight rain takes its toll on the roads
Keeping afloat: People use canoes to travel through floodwaters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, as serious flood warnings were issued across the region
Cut off: Anne Bartlett and her dog Henry look out from their flooded property in the centre of the village of Ruishton, near Taunton
Assessing the damage: A girl checks through the window of a cottage in the Somerset village of Ruishton, near Taunton, after the River Tone burst its banks
In Butcombe, Somerset, a family with a 12-month-old baby were rescued after their car became stranded in flood water. Residents of a nursing home at Cullompton, Devon, were evacuated as a precaution due to water levels. Police worked across the county to help people in distress - and even assisted the local wildlife. Officers rescued a number of young ducks being raised in a caged area on a river in the centre of Dawlish, cutting the cage open with bolt cutters to stop them drowning in the rising water. Warwickshire Fire and Rescue received more than 45 calls to flooding incidents between midnight and 6am. These included cars marooned on roads in floodwater and flooded properties. Seven people were rescued from cars marooned in floodwater, the fire service said. One incident took fire crews more than three hours to rescue three people stuck on the roof of their car, which had become marooned in flood water in Preston Bagot.
Officials were alerted to the incident just after 3am and a crew was sent from Leamington. But the flooding was that bad they had to request a boat to help but needed to wait 40 minutes for it. In another incident, crews were called to three people being trapped in a car under a bridge in Coventry Road, Church Lawford, just before 2.30am. They were rescued by firefighters and treated for hypothermia. Crews were also called to a man marooned in his car in floodwater in Oak Tree Lane in Sambourne just before 3am. He was rescued 30 minutes later and also treated for hypothermia. The Met Office said the the highest wind speeds of 69mph were recorded on Isle of Wight and the Isle of Portland overnight, while areas further north, such as Weybourne in Norfolk, were also buffeted with gales in excess of 60mph.
Fylingdales, North Yorkshire, had the worst of the rain, with 36.6mm falling between 6pm yesterday and 8am this morning. Meanwhile, St Mary’s Airport on the Isles of Scilly, was deluged with 58.2mm in a 36-hour period. West Midlands Ambulance Service made an urgent plea for people to 'stop putting their lives, and those of the emergency services, at risk during the current flooding.' The appeal came after the service was inundated with calls about flood related incidents over Saturday night.
Warnings:A sign in a car park warns of occasional flooding in Tewkesbury, west England, while many more signs have had to go up around the country
Picking up the pieces: A sign by a resident whose house has flooded asks motorists not to drive through rain water in the centre of the village of Ruishton, near Taunton
Sweeping up: Residents in Millbrook, Cornwall, take to the streets to help with the clean up outside of the Devon and Cornwall pub after heavy rain hit the area overnight
Muddy task: Ruth Wilson helps with the clean-up at the Devon and Cornwall pub in Millbrook, Cornwall, after heavy rain hit the area overnight
WMAS General Manager, Nathan Hudson said: 'No-one can have missed the heavy rain and strong winds that battered the region overnight. However, despite this, we were called out to several incidents where cars have tried to pass through flooded roads, fords, and small rivers and got stuck. Parts of historic Stratford-upon-Avon were left underwater by the rising floodwaters. Several people had to be rescued by Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service across the county, as they took 45 calls about the flooding. The Environment Agency said the Rivers Anker, Arrow and Leam were all at risk. Residents were forced to flee homes in a picturesque village after heavy rain overwhelmed £1million flood defences, inundating streets with a wall of water.
The small village of Kempsey in Worcestershire sat under up to two feet of water after water pumps could not keep up with heavy rains. Hereford and Worcester Fire Service rescued 28 people overnight from across Herefordshire and Worcestershire. Firefighters rescued four men from two cars stuck in floodwater in Buckinghamshire early Sunday morning. The men were stuck on the road between Haversham and Hanslope Park, near Pikes Farm, Haversham near Newport Pagnell at around a quarter to seven. Meanwhile, Cambridgeshire Police said the death of a 70-year-old man whose car plunged into a river near Earith, on Saturday night, had nothing to do with the weather. 'This particular accident could have happened at any time of year,' a force spokesman said.
One for the album: A father stops to take a picture of the flooding on the A361 on the Somerset Levels at Burrow Bridge, near Taunton
Ploughing on: Even the emergency services found themselves up against it as they help with the rescue effort in Hathern, Leicestershire
Crash: A Volkswagen Passat stands abandoned in a field after leaving the main carriageway through a fence off the A66 near Appleby in Cumbria with roads carrying excess surface water
Chris Burton, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said more on the way later today after a brief respite this morning. He said: 'In Devon and Cornwall at the moment, there are a few showers around, becoming more frequent through the day and merging into a longer spell this afternoon. 'It won't be as heavy as it was last night, but there will probably be another 10mm to 15mm between lunchtime and midnight.' Cardinham in Cornwall experienced 49mm in the 24 hours to 6am, and generally across Devon and Cornwall it has been the same, between 40mm and 50mm.' Mr Burton said the extra rain forecast for today would not help the situation on the ground. He said: 'It takes time for river levels to rise and then fall back down. River levels are still high, so the rain today is just going to make things worse.'
Someone phone for a canoe: The scene in the Somerset village of Ruishton, near Taunton, which has been flooded after the River Tone burst it's banks
Not again! Floodwaters inTewkesbury, Gloucestershire, which suffered terrible flooding earlier this year
Under water: Tewkesbury (left) once again finds itself submerged in flood water after suffering a similar fate earlier this year, while (right) a man offers to give his female friend a hand in Plymstock, Devon
Devastation: A vehicle in Newlyn, Cornwall, is submerged in floodwater after torrential rain and winds battered the region
Flooding has closed majors routes in North Yorkshire, police said. The A66 is closed between the A1 and the A67, and the A174 Whitby to Scarborough road has been partially closed due to a cliff fall at Sandsend near Raithwaite Hall. Peasholme Gap at Scarborough and Saxton Lane to Main Street in Saxton near Tadcaster have also been closed because of flooding. North Yorkshire Police tweeted: 'Please take care when travelling in North Yorkshire. There is lots of standing water on many roads. Reduce your speed!' The M5 was also shut between junction 25 and 26, Devon and Cornwall Police said. Emergency services, rescue crews and EA bosses worked throughout the night to help stricken communities and spread messages of safety to people following four days of uninterrupted rainfall.
More than 230 staff from Cornwall Council were out working across the county to help those hit by severe weather and flooding, and Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service has taken more than 350 calls since yesterday morning, the council said. Fire and rescue pumps were sent to Perranporth to help prevent further flooding after the river broke its banks. It was reported that people were left stranded in their homes in Newlyn in Cornwall, while roads in Bovey Tracey in Devon were turned into rivers as water poured down them.
We're going to need a bigger pump: The Environment Agency has issued more than 200 flood warnings and 250 flood alerts across the country
All at sea: A general view of Currymoor, near Barrow Bridge in Somerset after water levels continued to rise on Saturday amid torrential rain
Stuck: A man is helped from his stranded car by his daughter as they became stuck in deep water near to Staithes in North Yorkshire
The village of Millbrook was reportedly under 5ft of water and BBC reporter Alison Johns, who lives in the village, said 40 houses were evacuated last night. She said told the BBC that torrents of muddy water had been cascading down the road all yesterday afternoon, into the village and people's homes. Ms Johns said the village's sluice gates had been opened and water was transferred into a gulley, allowing water levels to subside. Devon and Cornwall Assistant Chief Constable Sharon Taylor, who is co-ordinating the emergency responses throughout the night, told the BBC the situation was beginning to stabilise in Plymouth and Cornwall. She said Devon was being buffeted by winds of up to 60mph and between 40mm and 60mm of rain. Ms Taylor said: 'Cornwall was hit in several places and we did have to have some partial evacuation and move people to recovery centres, but fortunately we have been able to move them all back, with the exception of a couple of elderly and vulnerable people who are being looked after overnight.' She warned people not to travel today unless absolutely necessary, saying: 'We have particularly found that people are still trying to get home and make their way to their properties, but of course some of this water is now contaminated with sewage, and of course that could cause people health problems if they continue to ignore the advice.' Ms Taylor said the M5 was closed southbound between junctions 25 and 26, and that there are major problems due to flooding on the A38.
Marooned: Diana Mallows, 90, is rescued by the Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service after being stranded due to flooding at her home for four days, at North Curry near Taunton
Soaked: A train causes a huge spray of water in Dawlish, Devon, as intense downpours and high winds continue to lash the south west of England
There were also reports of properties being flooded in Kennford, in Devon, while the BBC said Exmouth in Devon was cut off after the A376 was closed by police. The RNLI's South West flood rescue team was last night called to assist the emergency services in Exeter, and was put on standby to respond to Helston and Polperro. National Rail said the severe weather had caused a number of disruptions to services across the region. Trains were cancelled between Exeter St Davids and Yeovil Junction because of a landslip at Honiton and flooding near Axminster in Devon, and replacement buses were cancelled because of severe flooding on local roads. The route is expected to reopen tomorrow, subject to no further damage.
Hard going: A couple battle against a strong headwind as they take a walk along Plymouth Hoe. Hundreds of homes have been evacuated in the region due to flood water
Wild winds: Bognor Regis suffered severe gales which swept along the Sussex Coast, leaving many residents to battle against the miserable conditions
A landslip near Dawlish has also caused delays of up to an hour on rail services between Newton Abbot and Exeter St Davids, National Rail said. David Owens, duty director for Cornwall Council, earlier told the BBC that the rest centres were all stood down after residents had left. He said: 'We did have a couple of residents in Mevagissey where we had some 25 properties flooded. We didn't have any attendance in Millbrook where we had approximately 40 properties flooded. Those situations are really improving.' Mr Owens said there had been more than 400 staff from the council, police, fire services and the Environment Agency working during the night, and numbers were reduced as weather began to clear from the west.
Nice weather for ducks: The flooded Port Meadow near Wolvercote, Oxfordshire where the River Thames has burst it banks, as the Environment Agency put out a plethora of flood warnings
Submerged: The Somerset Levels transformed into a huge lake. Parts of the South West and Bristol Channel were hit by winds of up to 50mph which are only expected to start to calm by around midday Sunday
Source:Daily Mail UK