UK & World News
'High Alert' As Fresh Flood Warnings Issued
Emergency services are on "high alert" across England and Wales after fresh flood warnings - as police name the man who died in the treacherous conditions.
Jonathan Gammon, 52, was trapped in his car as it was swept away by 5ft of water in Compton Wood, Hampshire, on Monday.
His 55-year-old wife, who is thought to have been driving the car, managed to escape from the vehicle but he was pronounced dead at the scene. Their dog also died.
The Environment Agency now has more than 30 flood warnings in force across the South West, the Midlands, the North East, Anglia and Wales.
People in the affected areas are advised to move to a safe place, turn off gas, electricity and water supplies and put flood protection equipment in place.
The agency has also issued around 115 alerts for potential flooding.
The Met Office warned: "The public should be aware that, following recent heavy rainfall, further localised flooding is possible, with parts of Devon, Dorset and Somerset looking especially vulnerable."
Heavy rain and strong winds across southern Britain and Ireland have brought flooding overnight and dangerous conditions on many roads with extensive surface water.
Forecasters predict there will be more outbreaks of rain today, particularly in the south of England and Wales before it eventually begins to clear.
Police had earlier said they were looking for a man they feared had drowned in flood waters in the River Severn in Tewkesbury after a member of the public heard cries for help early in the morning.
But they later said two people had come forward to say they were in a groupof people shouting despite not needing any assistance.
Met Office figures have confirmed that last month was the wettest April since the first records were taken in 1910.
Data up to April 29 showed an average of 121.8mm had fallen (4.8in) - almost double the long-term average of 69.6mm (2.7in) and beating the previous record of 120.3mm (4.7in) set in 2000.
Sky News weather presenter Isobel Lang said: "Heavy, thundery rain and gusty easterly winds across southern Britain and Ireland will slowly spread north across the Midlands, Wales and into northern England and northern Ireland later - the rain should ease in intensity.
"This will allow southern parts to turn drier and brighter with some warm sunny spells - however one or two showers are still possible."
The Met Office said six of its weather stations had been three times their usual monthly average rainfall in April.
Liscombe in Somerset recorded the highest amount, with 273.8mm (10.8in) compared to its 86.4mm (3.4in) average.
Around 1,000 people had to be evacuated from a caravan park in Great Billing, Northampton, on Monday night due to flooding fears.
Earlier organisers called off the Badminton horse trials - which were due to start on Thursday - because the ground was "totally waterlogged and partially flooded".
Despite the heavy rain, swathes of England are still in a state of drought, with warnings that the downpours were not enough to counteract the effects of two unusually dry winters.
The Environment Agency said all regions had now received above average rainfall for April, boosting river levels - but groundwater levels remained low and the rain was not yet making a difference to the drought conditions.
The agency added that soil affected by prolonged dry weather is increasing the risk of flash floods as heavy rain quickly runs off hard, compacted ground.
Forecasters say the downpours will become less heavy but are expected to continue throughout the week.
Lang said: "There should be less rain generally over the next few days, but still some wet weather is forecast through Wednesday night and Thursday across southeast Britain.
"The north will turn chilly with some showery rain later in the week."
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what do you think?
Do they really expect us to keep believing this drought rubbish? News is full of reporters standing in knee deep water but don't complain people of Tewkesbury, there's a drought on you know. We are not stupid. Well, most of us.
Old Boy Dodger
What fools - this is basic science (I mean really, really basic) How is all the flood water running away to the sea in our rivers meant to recharge the groundwater, beneath our feet in underground aquifers? Do they all of a sudden have some form of ethereal magic ability..? Why can't you, quick to comment, uneducated doubters just come to realise the 'experts' really DO know what they are talking about.. That's why they are the experts and you are not. The ground might be wet but the groundwater is sometimes many meters below ground and this is where lots of water comes from into the hands of the water companies. Leaks from water supplies of course cannot be defended - other than it would cost us, the water bill payers dearly to fix everything. What do you want heaped up bills or every little spout fixed.. Ever heard of sustainability. - Stop using so much and we'll all have enough to share around.
I agree, basic science. Rain falls from sky. Catch it. Don't let it run to the sea. Problem solved. The Romans managed it. Like many 'experts' you create a problem where there isn't one.
More reservoirs need to be built and the planning system has to be bypassed for them.Tough luck nimbys
Well said. It's become obvious that nature is providing us with plenty of water for our needs - it's just that we fail to catch it and let it run out to sea. Perhaps the water companies should rely less on (no cost) underground water reserves and rather more on (expensive) overground water reservoirs?
At least I can wash my car now !!!
if these water companies just repaired the broken pipes we cud survive 2 years of drought without worrying, but will they? in ya dreams guys;)
why do we always panic when we havent had rain for a few months it always makes up for it since when has this country failed not to rain, they cope abroad and they have lot longer hot weather
I was driving to Guildford, through the back roads, and the amount of water from burst pipes was unbelievable. Runnymede council shame on you...
Fixing drains to cope with the downpours would help!
This is just a typical 'british' knee jerk reaction once again, first drought now floods. Next it'll be locusts etc !!
every time some idiot says we have a drought britian becomes submerged in water
The trouble with Tewkesbury is that the River Avon joins the already swollen River Severn right in the town centre and inevitable flooding always occurs especially if downpours hit Mid & North Wales. Horrible and distressing for the residents in the town. Watchout Gloucester--they'll be next!
wall to wall blue sky here in sunny Bognor Regis and no wind .
ha water shortage hose pipe ban and now most of the country is on flood alert, its a shame all the fat cats at the water board arent in the middle of it or better still under it, face down for 10 minutes should do the trick.
If the Met Office say anything, take it with a pinch of salt. Not sure who is more mendacious; them or politicians????? In my part of the world, we haven't had a Summer since 2006, though that fine Summer followed a wet Spring, so let's hope history repeats itself (I'm a bit fed up of five years of November!!).