More rain forecast as flood warnings hit record levels

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The Independent Online

The Environment Agency last night issued a record 41 severe flood warnings with a forecast that more rain was expected over the next 24 hours.

The Environment Agency last night issued a record 41 severe flood warnings with a forecast that more rain was expected over the next 24 hours.

With much of Britain in chaos after the worst flooding in 50 years, the extreme weather claimed another two fatalities. In Herefordshire, a tree fell on a car in "atrocious" conditions, killing two passengers and critically injuring the driver.

In Scotland, which has so far escaped lightly, the Edinburgh Flood Group warned that if the weather continued, the River Almond at Kirkliston and the Water of Leith in the Murrayfield and Roseburn areas were expected to burst their banks.

Chief Inspector Grainger Falconer, chairman of the Flood Group, said: "We are asking householders to prevent or limit damage to their houses - move property to higher areas; remove chemicals, such as weedkiller, from sheds so the water supply is not contaminated."

The two deaths - bringing to 12 the number of people killed by the recent extreme weather - occurred on Sunday night on the B4361 at Richards Castle, near Tenbury Wells, when a large tree fell on a vehicle.

"Two people were declared dead at the scene. The driver was taken to hospital with head and spinal injuries and is in a critical condition," police said. "The driver took no avoiding action and the tree fell right on the car. The tree narrowly missed a coach travelling in the opposite direction."

While Yalding in Kent yesterday flooded for the third time in three weeks, Wakefield in West Yorkshire fell victim with several shops flooding after the River Calder burst its banks.

Elsewhere in Yorkshire the agency warned that the situation in Malton, York, Selby and Barmby may get worse. In the Midlands, where there are 11 severe flood warnings, the Rivers Dove, Churnet, Trent and Derwent have seen "significant rises".

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