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Tue Oct 21 21:57:11 SAST 2014

New deaths in Britain floods, more rains forecast

Sapa-dpa | 25 November, 2012 18:47
A fire engine is driven through flood water in Hathern
A fire engine is driven through flood water in Hathern, central England, November 25, 2012. REUTERS/Darren Staples (BRITAIN - Tags: ENVIRONMENT DISASTER)
Image by: DARREN STAPLES / REUTERS

Flood-hit England took advantage of a brief lull in rains Sunday to restore order after days of inundations blamed for at least three deaths, with more rains forecast.

Days of heavy rains and strong winds in south-west England left some towns cut off or underwater, with hundreds of homes flooded and emergency services forced to evacuate residents.

The floods claimed at least one more life at the weekend, with the discovery of the body of a 21-year-old woman crushed by falling trees while sheltering in a tent along the roadside.

There were also reports of a 70-year-old man killed when his car plunged into a canal, although police said the accident was not weather-related.

Other media reported the discovery of the body of a man who had gone missing Saturday. The first flood-related fatality had been reported Thursday.

The floods prompted the closure of multiple roads, leaving some communities virtually cut off. Officials called the measures necessary and warned against non-essential travel.

"We would ask people only to travel if they really have to and to stay away from swollen rivers and streams," said police spokeswoman Sarah Sharpe.

"We are expecting more rain in the next 10 to 12 hours and our message to people is to stay indoors, stay safe and be cautious.

"If you feel your property is at risk of flooding, please use the current break in the weather to take all necessary precautions to safeguard your property and prepare for potential evacuation."

Road service crews reported record levels of calls for help.

"People in the affected areas really need to think twice before travelling - it really is bad out there and it's just not worth the risk," said Darron Burness, head of special operations with the Automobile Association.

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Tue Oct 21 21:57:11 SAST 2014 ::