Britain has been battered by its worst storm this year, with 150-kilometre per hour winds and heavy rains.The areas hit hardest were the south west coast of England and southern Wales. The torrential downpours triggered flash floods in coastal regions and scores of motorists had to be rescued from their cars. Around 70 flood alerts were declared across Britain and in some places trees were felled and power lines brought down. Some local authorities called in emergency crews to shore up sea defences over fears of a sea surge. The extreme conditions also forced the cancellation of ferries between Britain and France.