Woman dies as torrential rain batters the West Country

25 rivers in South-west on 'flood watch' list as water rises as high as four feet

A woman died after falling into a river in Cornwall as the region was hit by torrential rain and flooding over the weekend.

The 60-year-old, who has not yet been identified, fell into the River Seaton in Hessenford at around 8pm on Saturday during a heavy rainstorm. Emergency services were called to the scene and found the woman in the water.

A police dog handler pulled the woman on to the river bank and attempted to resuscitate her before she was airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth, where she was pronounced dead. According to some reports, she may have slipped while attempting to cross a bridge over the river.

News of the death came as the Met Office issued warnings of severe weather and flooding in the South West, and 25 rivers in the region were put on the Environment Agency's "flood watch" list. Flash floods in some parts of the region caused water levels to rise as high as four feet.

Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue were called to Exton, near Exeter, on Saturday evening to pump water from a road where it reached the tops of car roofs. Crews were also called to several incidents in the Plymouth area where vehicles had become stuck in floodwater.

Three people had to be rescued from their car in Devonport, while a driver in Sparkwell had to climb onto the roof of his van after it became trapped in water more than three feet deep.

In Cumbria, the flood recovery effort continued as the army began transporting sections of a new 110-tonne footbridge for the town of Workington, which was split in two after its bridges were rendered impassable by flooding a week ago.

The Royal Logistics Corps moved the parts from a holding base at Halton Camp, Lancashire, and the Royal Engineers will lay 4,000 tons of rock base foundations. Some 200 soldiers are involved in the construction of the bridge, which will be positioned 300m east of the Calva Bridge, which was closed because of safety fears. The army and Cumbria County Council hope to open the crossing to the public by the weekend.

Major Phillip Curtis of the 42nd (North West) Brigade told the BBC yesterday: "At the moment we are aiming to have the bridge finished by next weekend to try and hit the school run on Monday. The site is throwing up challenges and it is a complex build but we hope that is the target we will be hitting."

The 51m bridge is aimed at reconnecting the two halves of Worthington, which were divided when the River Derwent flooded on 20 November, causing the town's A597 Northside Bridge and a footbridge to collapse and leaving the Calva Bridge unstable.

Motorists have been warned by Cumbria County Council not to ignore safety blockades at the Calva crossing, after several drivers were caught on CCTV removing barriers and signs from the site in order to drive across the bridge. The Highways Agency is due to install motorway-style barriers to reinforce the road closure and prevent any more potentially dangerous crossings.

A railway bridge across the Derwent was left undamaged, and operator Network Rail has announced that it will be running a free shuttle train from today to connect Workington with a new temporary station north of the river. Prince Charles visited the construction site at the weekend as part of his tour of areas affected by the flooding.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: English Teacher

Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: My client is an excellent, large partially ...

Tradewind Recruitment: Science Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: I am currently working in partnersh...

Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Primary Teacher

£100 - £150 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Year 3 Teacher Birmingham Jan 2015...

Ashdown Group: Lead Web Developer (ASP.NET, C#) - City of London

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Lead Web Develo...

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Paul Scholes column: The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him

Paul Scholes column

The more Jose Mourinho attempts to influence match officials, the more they are likely to ignore him
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee