Army helps flood-hit UK clean up, as another storm approaches

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Army helps flood-hit UK clean up, as another storm approaches

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A big clean-up operation is underway as flood-stricken Britain counts the cost of the ‘Wild Wednesday’ deadly storm.

The armed forces have been drafted in for relief efforts after gusts of over 160 km per hour lashed western England and Wales.

Floods have devastated some areas for weeks and rising water levels are continuing to cause misery.

In Wraysbury in the southern English county of Berkshire, villager Jonathan Swift escaped from his flooded house, with his pregnant wife.

“It rose very, very quickly in the early hours. Maybe about three or four o’clock,” he said. “We woke up in the morning. It was flooded completely.”

Parts of the River Thames are said to be reaching their highest level in 60 years.

Many waterlogged residents in Wraysbury have found shelter in the local primary school.

“I have three young children and they are all at different houses,” said flooding victim Bea Evans. “One is with family, one is with friends and one is with a sister. So no children in the house. It is very dangerous. The water is very, very dirty.”

At least one person died in Wednesday’s storm, there was major disruption to the transport network and tens of thousands of homes are still without power.

The British army officer leading the flood recovery efforts has described it as “an almost unparalleled natural crisis”.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has promised that “money was no object” in the relief effort.

While Thursday was much calmer, national media forecasts say that three more big storms will hit Britain in the next week – the first of them is due on Friday.