Published on 23 Nov 2012 Sections ,

Heavy rain forecast in south west England and Wales

A man has died after becoming trapped in flood water in Somerset as heavy rain causes disruption in large parts of the country. Severe downpours are forecast for Wales and the south west England.

The severe weather has been worst in Wales and the south west of England where flooding left hundreds of drivers stranded.

The Met Office forecasted that further persistent rain will spread across these areas on Saturday, turning heavy at times, especially later. It warns that given existing levels of saturation, the public should be prepared for localised flooding.

A man died after his car became trapped under a bridge in Chew Stoke near Bath.

“Tragically we have had one fatality,” an Avon Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said.

“We were called to reports of a car submerged in water in Pilgrims Way, in Chew Stoke, just off the main road. Emergency services attended and several members of the Avon Fire and Rescue swift water rescue team, who are based at Bedminster fire station, went into the water.

“They recovered a man from the vehicle, he was then left in the care of paramedics and I understand that while being taken to hospital he was declared dead en route.”

The Environment Agency had issued 91 flood warnings, with a total of 213 less serious flood alerts in place across England and Wales.

In Berkshire a 90-year-old man is missing feared drowned after being swept away.

Search boats from the police and the Environment Agency were sent to the scene in Sonning-on-Thames but it was believed the OAP’s body had been swept downstream.

Police found the pensioner’s maroon coloured Ford Escort car parked beside the towpath of the flood-swollen river.

Heavy rain causes damage

A Downing Street spokeswoman said that 300 properties in England and Wales have been flooded over the past 24 hours.

Heavy rain caused a large wall to collapse in St David’s Hill in Exeter, Devon.

A 30ft section of a wall came down onto the pavement and road at around 8pm last night as wind and rain continued to batter the south west.

Devon and Cornwall Police said that initial searches indicated that no-one was trapped beneath the rubble but as a precaution the fire brigade was making a thorough check with thermal imaging cameras and a sniffer dog.

In Cornwall, heavy rainfall and winds around the fishing port of Mevagissey resulted in a minor landslide.

Around 25 cubic metres of soil fell near the harbour, causing the car park to close temporarily while the debris was removed and the scene made safe.

Harbour master Hugh Bowles said: “We have a digger and a wagon coming to clear the mess up.

“There has been some minor disruption, but it hasn’t stopped the day-to-day operation of the harbour.”

Travel disruption:

Trains are not running between Exeter St Davids and Yeovil Junction.

Flooding is causing disruption in the Tiverton Parkway, Weston-super-Mare and Westbury areas. First Great Western are currently advising passengers not to travel on this route.

Trains between Swindon and Bristol Parkway are being delayed by up to 60 minutes.

First Great Western Sleeper services are cancelled.

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