Lucky escape for floods man

Helicopter and coastguard join search after high street drama
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The Independent Online

A man was washed away from a high street by rising floodwater after heavy rain hit south-east England.

A man was washed away from a high street by rising floodwater after heavy rain hit south-east England.

A police helicopter and coastguard officers were among the emergency services involved in the hunt after the man was swept away in Uckfield, East Sussex. He was later plucked to safety and flown to hospital.

Dozens of firefighters are pumping out homes and businesses in the town and little respite seems likely as a severe flood warning has been posted for the River Uck.

Several rivers have burst their banks in Kent and East Sussex after the heaviest September rain for several years.

The Environment Agency said that nearly four inches (100 millimetres) of rain has fallen on areas in the south-east over the past 24 hours. Sixty flood alerts were in place.

Another 1.5 inches (40mm) of rain is feared over the next 24 hours and the agency's emergency floodline number is 0845 988 1188.

A spokesman for the East Sussex fire and rescue service urged the public not to call 999 unless their life was in danger or their electricity supply was threatened by water. Every crew in the county was involved in rescuing stranded people or pumping out homes.

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