3 Dead in Storms, Flooding Sweeping Britain

Three people are dead and emergency services are working around the clock as heavy rain and floods sweep across Britain.

Authorities warned people to avoid the worst-affected areas, but already residents and motorists have had to be rescued from rising waters in north Yorkshire, Gloucestershire, Devon and Wales.

Over the past day the storms have moved from the southwest, up the country and today are pummeling the east and northeast of England.

Some areas had more than half a month’s rainfall in less than 24 hours.

On Friday, a 17-year-old girl died after the 4 x 4 she was traveling in overturned and plunged into a swollen river in Powys, Mid Wales.

Inspector Robert Price of Dyfed-Powys Police said the girl and two other people were airlifted to hospital from the Llyn Briane Reservoir area of the county.

A friend who survived the accident walked several miles out of the remote forestry area to a farmhouse, to raise the alarm.

Inspector Price said: “The weather conditions were extremely bad and it took him a long time. He must have been quite traumatized by his journey.”

The girl, a visitor from southeast England, is expected to be identified Saturday.

Earlier on Friday, a man and a woman died when they crashed into a tree as they drove through torrential rain and high winds in Plymouth.

Motorists faced long delays on the road. A busy sports weekend also took a hit, with race meetings in Warwickshire, Newcastle, Merseyside, Worcestershire, and Dublin canceled after eleventh-hour inspections. Gloucestershire’s biggest agricultural event, the Moreton-in-Marsh show, was also canceled.

In Wales, an RAF helicopter rescued a 60-year-old man from his car in Welshpool, and homes and schools were flooded on the eastern edge of Brecon National Park.

The Environment Agency issued severe flood warnings for parts of the rivers Derwent and Wye, near Rowsley in the Peak District. Severe flood warnings are also in force in Morpeth in Northumberland, and Pickering and Catterick in north Yorkshire.

With more than 250 localities on flood warning or flood watch, no region of England or Wales was entirely unaffected.

Phil Rothwell, head of flood risk management at the Environment Agency, told BBC Radio 4’s Today program: “Anyone who lives in an area which they know is prone to flooding needs to be very aware of the weather and very vigilant when they see that we are getting huge amounts of rainfall.”

Because rain is falling on already saturated ground, flooding problems have been exacerbated. As rainwater drains into river systems in the coming hours, more areas will be at risk, the agency says.

The Met Office warned of heavy rain for northeast England, Yorkshire and Humber, and the Midlands.

It also forecast strong winds across northern England, and heavy rain in southwest Scotland, and Lothian and Borders.

Tonight, all of England and Wales, as well as the south of Scotland, can expect showers or longer spells of rain. On Sunday, heavy showers are forecast for the east of England but the weather will clear in most of the rest of the country.