Forecasters say the extreme weather conditions which have led to severe flooding across a swathe of the British Isles look set to ease off today. At least three people have died as heavy rains and gale force winds battered central and northern England. Police searching for a missing 13-year-old boy in the northern city of Sheffield later found a body in a swollen river, while a 68-year-old motorist died after abandoning his submerged car.
“The problem we have got at the moment is where we pump this water to. If we are pumping people’s property out, it is where we put this water and at the minute we have got nowhere to put it,” said one emergency service worker.
The bad weather is the result of an Atlantic depression drawing cooler air in from the Arctic regions, leading to the wettest June since records began. A major rescue operation is continuing across the country. In the northern city of Hull, emergency crews worked desperately for hours to release a man whose foot was trapped in a drain. But the victim, who was in his twenties, eventually lost consciousness and died after being submerged on several occasions.
Some 22 severe flood warnings are in place across the country, alongside 129 standard warnings. And, while the weather may be easing, thousands have been left to count the rising costs in the wake of the deluge.