Flood victims hope dry spell holds

Hundreds of households hit by flash flooding are hoping predictions of a dry spell hold today after two motorists died in torrential rain.

Fire crews rescued dozens from their vehicles and homes as high winds, falling trees, flooded roads caused chaos across Britain yesterday.

The South West was the worst affected with roads in Devon and Somerset submerged under 18ins of water. Thirty people were pulled from their cars and homes and more than 200 people in Somerset found their cellars and ground floors under water.

The body of a pensioner was discovered inside a car submerged in Somerset floodwater at 6pm yesterday. The dead man, in his 80s, was pulled from the vehicle which was floating in Sandy Lane, in Martock.

The cause of his death is thought to be drowning or hypothermia.

A 22-year-old woman died in Dorset when her car crashed off the road during heavy rain.

Officers are investigating whether the weather was a factor in the accident on the A35 at Upton, Poole. It is thought the woman, from Poole, may have aquaplaned after hitting a standing water.

Last night The Environment Agency had 258 floods warnings in place, 100 in the South West, 48 in the Midlands, and 30 in Wales.

But today was set to be largely rain-free and with the worst of the rain over by yesterday evening, according to forecaster MeteoGroup UK, part of the Press Association group.

Spokeswoman Claire Austin said last night: "In the South West we've got a mainly dry day tomorrow. There's a band of rain clearing eastwards overnight.

"There's a fair bit of cloud with some sunny spells and some light winds, but it should stay dry.

"The worst rain has passed the south west now. There may one or two showers in the Cornwall area."

The country in general should be fair with no heavy rain anticipated, she added.

Chard, Ilminster, Shepton Mallet, Glastonbury and Street experienced the heaviest downpours.

Elsewhere in Britain emergency services were busy dealing with calls from householders and motorists caught up in flash floods.

A reduced train service was running between London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads and trips between Paddington and Taunton, Exeter St Davids, Plymouth and Penzance were suspended.

Most of the houses in one Somerset street - Hempitts Road, in the village of Walton - were flooded.

Residents Jane and Tony Bird said their 11-year-old son, Jack, who was sleeping on a mattress downstairs with friends, woke up "floating".

The Devon and Somerset control centre said at the height of the crisis yesterday it was taking one emergency call every two or three minutes since 5am.

Some lower floors of homes were under up to 4ft of water, and Bronze and Silver Command was activated in Ilminster to co-ordinate the response of fire and police services.

A spokeswoman in the Somerset control room said yesterday: "We've had 270 calls since 2am and most of those are relating to flooded homes.

"We are getting to properties but we are having to queue incidents because there's such a large volume."

Sandbags were provided and blocked drains are being pumped out.

The River Cale in Wincanton, Somerset burst its banks and the recreation ground and some nearby bridges were impassable.

In Dorset, 18 homes in Rowan Close, Southill, Weymouth, suffered several inches of floodwater, damaging presents placed under Christmas trees in some houses.

In neighbouring Wiltshire, the fire service said it had been "very stretched" with 80 calls to flooded homes, and 150 999 calls in total.

Officers attended a dozen incidents of water creeping into gardens in Gloucestershire. Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said it had been busy overnight with calls to flooding in the Fishguard area.

Firefighters were called to homes in Stourbridge, West Midlands, which flooded after drains overflowed following overnight downpours.

A block of flats in Emsworth, Hampshire, was evacuated early this morning when a 50ft tree branch fell, crushing two cars parked in the driveway. None of the 10 people taken to safety were injured.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service said it had dealt with at least a dozen calls reporting flooded drains.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service said it rescued one woman from the roof of a car after flooding in Crewe.

In Scotland a mission was launched to rescue 100 sheep "huddled" on top of a mound in a field in Perth, when the river Earn burst is banks.

Suggested Topics
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleActor, from House of Cards and Benidorm, was 68
A scene from the video shows students mock rioting
newsEnd-of-year leaver's YouTube film features staging of a playground gun massacre
View from the Llanberis Track to the mountain lake Llyn
Du’r Arddu
environmentA large chunk of Mount Snowdon, in north Wales, is up for sale
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
A family sit and enjoy a quiet train journey
voicesForcing us to overhear dull phone conversations is an offensive act, says Simon Kelner
i100This Instagram photo does not prove Russian army is in Ukraine
Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
Morrissey pictured in 2013
Arts and Entertainment
Sydney and Melbourne are locked in a row over giant milk crates
Life and Style
The director of Wall-E Andrew Stanton with Angus MacLane's Lego model
gadgetsDesign made in Pixar animator’s spare time could get retail release
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Tyred out: should fair weather cyclists have a separate slow lane?
environmentFormer Labour minister demands 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Field of broken dreams: Andy Bell visits Passchendaele
news5 News's Andy Bell visited the killing fields of the Great War, and his ancestor - known only from his compelling war diary - came to life
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

VB.Net Developer - £40k - Surrey - WANTED ASAP

£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...

Digitakl Business Analyst, Slough

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...

Mechanical Estimator: Nuclear Energy - Sellafield

£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...

Dynamics NAV Techno-Functional Consultant

£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...

Day In a Page

Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

In my grandfather's First World War footsteps

5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during the war. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

A tale of two presidents

George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end