Flood peril as rain continues to fall on saturated Britain

DANGEROUS floods have caused more mayhem as rain continues to lash down on

And forecasters have predicted a Christmas washout for many parts of the UK –
with bad weather set to continue throughout the festive period.

Among the worst hit are the areas around Barnstaple in North Devon,
Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire and parts of south Wales.

Many homeowners have seen their houses wrecked as flood waters burst through
defences and emergency services rescued several drivers who were swept away
in cars.

The newsagents on Caen Street, after severe flooding in Braunton, North Devon.

Tony Conlan, a forecaster with Meteogroup, said while the rain would not be as
heavy as that which has already fallen, it would be landing in areas already
saturated with water.

“We certainly haven’t heard the last of the flooding stories,” he said.

“There is no sign of settled weather on the way for at least the next week.”

The Environment Agency still has one severe flood warning – meaning there is
“danger to life” – in place this morning, for the River Cober at Helston in
west Cornwall, after heavy rainfall overnight.

The flooded car park of the Unicorn Hotel at Gunthorpe, on the banks of the River Trent, Nottinghamshire

There are 182 flood warnings — urging people to take immediate action —
across the UK, with the most in the south west and the Midlands.

In Umberleigh, near Barnstaple in Devon, a woman was rescued by a lifeboat
after she was swept away from her car in the early hours of today after
flooding in the area.

A Devon and Cornwall Police helicopter found the woman clinging to branches of
a tree on the banks of the swollen River Taw.

damage caused to the railway line at Cowley Bridge, near Exeter, Devon

She had been in a car with her husband and son when they were trapped by flood

Her husband and son were rescued by passers-by while the woman had tried to
clamber to safety onto the top of the car but was swept away.

She managed to grab hold of a branch and clung on while a police helicopter
hovered overhead.

 Villagers walk through flood water outside the village pub in Stoke Canon, in Devon.

Robin Goodlad, the RNLI’s incident commander said the rescue had been an
“heroic” effort.

Chris Missen and Paul Eastman from Porthcawl in Wales and Martin Blaker-Rowe,
an RNLI College trainer, were onboard the RNLI lifeboat that saved the woman
from the water.

“These three volunteers were working in complete darkness, in an environment
they had never been in before and ideally this should have been a two-boat
operation,” Mr Goodlad said.

A vehicle drives through flood water in the High Street in Stoke Canon, in Devon

“They had a pinpoint light from the police helicopter to locate the woman.

“They got the woman into the boat. She had been in the water for 50 minutes
and the guys are gobsmacked that she is alive and if they had not picked her
up in that boat she would have been floating away downstream.

“They were fully aware of the risks. This was a high risk operation with a
high benefit and they decided to get on with it.

Villagers walk through flood water in the high street in Stoke Canon, in Devon

“This was a very heroic rescue, there are no two ways about it.”

The RNLI said its flood rescue teams rescued four people from flooded homes in
Barnstaple and 12 people, two dogs and six cats in Lostwithiel, Cornwall.

They also helped treat a woman involved in a car accident near Yeovil in

People walk during high winds at Tynemouth beach, Tyne and Wear.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue said it was called to more than 80 flooding
incidents yesterday, including six to rescue people from cars and three at

They reportedly included a woman who narrowly avoided death when she was swept
away in her car in Llancarfan, in the Vale of Glamorgan.

The woman was driving through the village when her black Mini ended up in the
swollen waterway and began floating backwards with her trapped inside,
according to the BBC.

Two men smashed the car window using a ladder and pulled her to safety just
moments before her car was washed under the bridge and filled with water.

Article source: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4711817/Flood-peril-as-rain-continues-to-fall-on-saturated-Britain.html