Man killed as flood waters rise


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A man has died after being swept away by floodwater as heavy rain and thunderstorms battered parts of central and northern England.

West Mercia Police said the man was overcome by the water in a stream at Bittlerley, near Ludlow, Shropshire, shortly after 10.30am yesterday.

Witnesses reported the incident and the man's body was found after an extensive search involving police, fire crews and the Severn Area Rescue Association. A police spokeswoman said the man, in his 60s, has not been formally identified.

Flooding has hit parts of the West Midlands, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire following downpours in the region. A 90-year-old man was among a number of people rescued from vehicles by fire crews as heavy rain caused flash flooding in the Bridgnorth area of Shropshire.

Herefordshire Council said a number of roads across the county were submerged, with severe localised flooding affecting Orleton, Brimfield, Yarpole and Kingsland. The Environment Agency urged people to be on alert for more flash flooding across the Midlands and northern England as the Met Office forecast outbreaks of torrential rain across many central and northern parts of the country.

There are seven flood warnings in place for the Midlands and 48 less serious flood alerts across the Midlands, the North East and the North West of England.

The heavy rain could also cause rivers to rise rapidly and the public should avoid swollen rivers, the Environment Agency warned.