Friday, September 5, 2008

Teen dies in Britain's floods

A 17-year-old girl has died as torrential rain floods homes and causes transport chaos in Britain.

The teenager was killed after the vehicle she was in plunged into a swollen river on Friday (local time) in the flood-hit Powys region of Wales, a police spokesman said.

The girl was one of three passengers in a four-wheel-drive vehicle, the two other passengers, a man and a woman, were airlifted to safety but are suffering from hypothermia, he said.

The Taff River in south Wales has burst its banks and the Government's Environment Agency has published 40 other flood warnings on rivers in England and Wales.

Overflowing rivers and storm drains have flooded houses and stranded motorists in Wales and south-west England.

Forecasters say there is more heavy rain to come and there could be more flooding as the storms move north.

The South Wales Fire and Rescue Service says it has received more than 350 flooding calls in a six-hour period, including calls to help people trapped in their cars by rising water.

Roads are impassable in parts of Wales while police in Gloucestershire, south-west England, have warned motorists to travel only if necessary because some roads are under water.

Rail company Arriva Trains Wales has also advised passengers not to travel.

Phil Rothwell, head of flood risk at the Environment Agency, has urged people in flood-prone areas to watch weather forecasts.

"Rivers are rising very rapidly and bursting their banks, also the drainage system that takes the water away from our urban areas is also failing," he told BBC television.

Over the next 24 hours he said the heavy rain was forecast to move north-east, through central England and into Yorkshire and north-eastern England.


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