Rain-lashed areas return to normal


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The Independent Online

Parts of the British Isles lashed by heavy rain and strong winds which caused flooding in some areas were returning to normal today.

Rain and high winds across the whole United Kingdom resulted in flood warnings for parts of the North Sea coast in Yorkshire and at Haverfordwest in Pembrokeshire last night, although they were lifted this morning. Localised flooding was also reported across Cornwall and parts of west Devon.

The wettest place in Britain yesterday was Cardinham, on Bodmin Moor in Cornwall, which received almost half a month's worth of rain yesterday.

The Met Office said 2.7in (68.4mm) fell on Cardinham over the 24-hour period, compared with an average October monthly rainfall of 5.7in (146.2mm). Most of that, 2.2in (58mm), fell in 12 hours between 7am and 7pm.

In one hour at around lunchtime yesterday, Luxulyan, near St Austell in Cornwall, recorded 0.9in (23.6mm) of rain, and at Milford Haven in West Wales 0.7in (17.8mm) fell during the evening rush-hour, out of 2.1in (52.4mm) which fell in 24 hours.

In the Republic of Ireland, rescue workers searching for Garda Ciaran Jones, 25, who was swept away by floods in the Wicklow mountains yesterday evening, said today they had recovered a body from the River Liffey.

Garda Jones, who was stationed at Stepaside, south Dublin, was swept away as he helped people on the upper stretches of the river, along with his brother and a friend.

The off-duty officer, from Manor Kilbride, was attempting to keep people safe from dangerous floods at Ballysmuttan bridge at 7pm yesterday when he disappeared. There had been fears the bridge was in danger of collapsing as people tried to cross.

Around 3.5in (90mm) of rain fell in the area in 36 hours.

The body of a woman was also found in a flooded basement in Dublin this morning, the Gardai said.

Neighbours evacuated from Parnell Road in Crumlin, south Dublin, late last night alerted emergency services to a basement apartment where it was believed a Filipina woman in her 30s was living.

Divers from the Garda Water Unit were unable to find anything during an initial search in the early hours of the morning but a woman's body was later recovered when the basement was pumped out.

The victim has yet to be formally identified and a post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out.

In Cornwall, 13-year-old Annie Thomas was reunited with her parents after going missing in poor weather while walking her dog near the coast at St Agnes last night. She was found with a head injury in a field by an 80-strong rescue team.

Billy Payne, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said the heavy rain system which sat over Ireland, Wales and south-west England, bringing the downpours, would move north and weaken during the day.

Today should see sunny periods interspersed with heavy showers, apart from northern Scotland, where heavy rain will continue.

But there is also a risk of thundery showers in the South West and South Wales later today.

"Today will see sunny spells and scattered showers," Miss Payne said.

"The outbursts of rain we had yesterday are still moving north-east over England and Wales but lingering over northern Scotland."

Temperatures which yesterday reached 19C (66F) will reach a high of around 16C (61F) in East Anglia and the South East.

The Met Office forecast a mix of sunshine and showers for the rest of the week, with southern Britain expected to have another wet day on Thursday.