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Car found in swollen river search for man as flood risk still high in places

Published 22/11/2016

Flooding on Huddersfield Road in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, as heavy rain has fallen in the region
Flooding on Huddersfield Road in Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, as heavy rain has fallen in the region

A 39-year-old woman has died and the search for a missing pensioner has been called off as parts of the UK faced further disruption caused by heavy rain and strong winds.

Russell Sherwood, 69, of Neath, South Wales, went missing on Monday and on Tuesday evening police found a vehicle in the swollen River Ogmore which is believed to be his.

Officers have been unable to search the vehicle, which is upside down, because of the "treacherous" conditions, a South Wales Police spokesman said.

A force statement added: "Due to the location of the vehicle, the continuing treacherous conditions and the fading light, the search has been stood down for the evening."

They added: "A police presence will remain at the scene throughout the night. A recovery operation will begin at first light tomorrow. Mr Sherwood's family have been kept fully informed of the developments and are being supported by specially trained officers."

In Kent, a 39-year-old woman died "despite efforts from emergency services to save her", a Kent police spokesman said.

She was spotted by a helicopter crew in the sea at Folkestone but the many rocks in the area and the lashing waves meant a lifeboat crew could not get close to her.

Footage shows her being airlifted by a helicopter before being taken to a local hospital, where she later died.

Robert Bendhiaf, of the Dover RNLI lifeboat, who described the conditions as "pretty bad", said: "This is a tragic outcome and we are all very sad that she did not survive.

"As with many of our launches, we do not yet know the reasons why this woman was in the sea, but needless to say it is an awful outcome and the crews thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of this young lady."

The Environment Agency has 16 flood warnings and 103 flood alerts in place and warned of a continuing flood risk in Dorset and York as rain causes the rivers to gradually rise.

Clare Dinnis, the Environment Agency's national flood duty manager, said: "After heavy rain over the last three days and showers forecast today, people in the South West and North East need to be aware of the potential for further flooding.

"The weather is due to improve later this week, but we want to remind people not to risk driving through flood water, walking near large waves or near swollen rivers."

But Storm Angus, which had brought gusts of around 50mph over higher ground and coastal areas in the South East, is becoming more settled.

Met Office forecaster Emma Sharples said showers are expected in many places but the "intensity of recent days will disappear".

Bands of rain may hit the North East and South West. The South West will still have to contend with 15-20mm of rainfall.

Network Rail (NR) warned of "major disruption" on some routes, particularly in the South West and urged passengers to check online updates.

A Stena Link ferry which had been stranded in Cardigan Bay for more than 24 hours, with nearly 150 passengers and crew on board, has now docked at Fishguard.

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