UK & World News
Floods: Drivers Warned Against 'Risking Lives'
Rescue services have told drivers to stop motoring into flood waters as strong winds and heavy rains bring chaos to the country's roads.
Emergency crews said that motorists must remember that while their vehicles may be four-wheel drives, they are not "amphibious".
According to the West Midlands Ambulance Service there has been a surprisingly high number of call-outs to 4x4 vehicles as people try to find short cuts away from flooded roads across country.
In Warwickshire three people became stranded on the roof of a four-wheel drive after deciding to go off-road driving.
Police issued a post on Twitter to say the men had been shouting abuse at those who tried to come to their aid. They were eventually rescued by boat.
Nathan Hudson, of West Midlands Ambulance Service, said: "People who attempt to pass through flooded roads are not only putting their own lives at risk, but also the lives of the emergency services staff who have to rescue them.
"A little bit of common sense from the public will ensure that no one's life is put in any unnecessary danger.
There are 100 road restrictions in place across the country and the AA said it had attended more than 10,000 breakdowns by 7.45pm, 613 of which were cars that had driven into flood water.
David Burness, the AA's head of special operations said the calls were coming in at a rate of 1,000 an hour.
"It's a cumulative thing as the ground is so saturated now and river levels so high that any additional rainfall causes widespread problems," he said.
"With further heavy rain and high winds this afternoon and tomorrow, 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."
Meanwhile, police in Devon were forced to put up barriers for crowd control and warn the public to stay away after scores of people turned out to watch as the embankment of the Grand Western Canal collapsed.
The Environment Agency has one severe weather warning, which means danger to life, in place in the South West. There are 223 flood warnings in place across the country, and 273 less serious flood alerts.
David Cameron said the scenes from across the country were "shocking" and pledged that all flood victims would get the help they needed.
In a tweet he wrote: "Shocking scenes of flooding in Cornwall and around the country. Govt will help ensure everything is being done to help."
More than 800 homes across the country have been flooded with the South West and the Midlands bearing the brunt of the bad weather. Nearly 71,000 properties have been told they could be at risk, according to the Environment Agency.
In Lostwithiel residents piled sandbags at their doors as they feared the River Fowey would burst its banks overnight. Sky News' Charlotte Lomas said that the Cornish town was bracing for more heavy rain.
"It won't take much to increase river levels again and yet again there will be another danger of heavy flooding here," she said.
Jo Wheeler, Sky News Weather Presenter, said: "The heaviest rain has now moved north, and there'll be a period of some hours before further wet weather is likely.
"Meanwhile, the storm system has taken the wettest weather into central, eastern and northern parts of England."
"And the strongest winds are to the south and east of the system, with gale force gusts for eastern England, East Anglia and the south-east. These blustery conditions will also abate as the low pressure system clears away into the North Sea."
In Exeter, a 21-year-old homeless woman was killed on Saturday night when the shelter in which she was sleeping was hit by a falling tree.
Inspector Andrew Webber of Devon and Cornwall Police told Sky News that the dead woman had been living in a small tent sheltered against a wall at the roadside.
"It was a very large oak tree that had been there for ... many years. Obviously we've had lots of heavy weather, it's been raining an awful lot, and the tree for whatever reason came down."
In Cambridgeshire, a 70-year-old man died after his car plunged into a river near Earith on Saturday night, however, the police said it was not a weather-related accident.
Flood waters in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, reached 3ft in places and firefighters worked to rescue people from their flooded homes.
Network Rail said trains were likely to be suspended between Exeter and Bristol until Monday. Landslips at Honiton and Dawlish have led to the cancellation of a number of train services.
what do you think?
I'm sorry but if people shout abuse at tithe people trying to rescue them then they should be left where they are
Idiots in 4x4s. Emeregency services should have just left those 3 to swim. That was £50k well spent wasn't it?
They have also advised motorists not to drive over the edge of cliffs or stop for a picnic on a railway line or they may be hurt !
It makes me really angry, how these rescuers are risking their lives too help people who are so ungrateful that they are being helped.
This isn't the 1st & defo won't be the last of fload warnings!! With regards to the Numptys in this world... I hope & pray you are fined by the AA for your foolish actions!!
Ooops forgot to mention I take my hat off to all emergency services!!....... Its about time you handed out £££ charges to those that waste your time!! ;-) xxx
police on the case worked out that a large tree was there for many years!well done