Driver dies as gales batter Britain

Click to follow

Emergency services were stretched to capacity yesterday as torrential rain and gales led to a number of casualties across the country.

Emergency services were stretched to capacity yesterday as torrential rain and gales led to a number of casualties across the country.

Weather conditions deteriorated throughout the day, with gusts of more than 60mph causing particular problems on the south coast.

A motorist was killed in the Seaford area of East Sussex when his car skidded off a flooded road and struck a wall, and a Brighton woman was admitted to hospital after she was literally blown off her feet.

In Hastings, the wind frustrated attempts to put out a serious blaze in a block of flats; the operation took three hours and involved 40 firefighters. Conditions in the Solent were severe, with ferry and hovercraft services to and from the Isle of Wight suspended.

In North Petherwin, Cornwall, a pregnant woman, her husband and their seven-month-old baby were rescued after 4ft of floodwater from a river rose up around their car.

Tottenham Hotspur's FA Cup fourth-round tie with Bolton and Portsmouth's First Division match with Wimbledon were cancelled due to waterlogged pitches.

Hampshire Police warned drivers to stay off the roads and reported an average of one call a minute as a result of weather-related incidents. One driver on the A27 at Swanwick, near Southampton, was shocked but uninjured when a falling tree hit his vehicle.

"The weather has not been this bad for a very long time," said Inspector Kevin Baxman of Hampshire Police. "We are working flat out."

In Southampton, a 60ft tree weighing more than four tons crashed into a two-storey block of flats, but all eight residents escaped unharmed. Emergency services in Surrey said around 40 trees were uprooted during the day, leaving several main roads blocked.

Meanwhile, motorists in Scotland were still facing disruptions as a result of last week's snowfall, with a number of roads closed. There were also flood warnings for several rivers in North Wales.

More rain and wind are forecast for much of the UK today, in particular parts of the south and west.

Comments