Page last updated at 17:47 GMT, Saturday, 6 September 2008 18:47 UK

England struck by flash flooding

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Rescues, flooded roads and wrecked homes across the country

Heavy rain is causing flash floods across the Midlands and northern England, as storms continue for a second day across swathes of the UK.

Police say a 27-year-old man died in a mudslide in Stroud, Gloucestershire due to the rain. A teenage girl from south London died in Wales on Friday.

The Environment Agency says Morpeth in Northumberland is under water, with an estimated 1,000 properties flooded.

The Agency has issued 97 flood warnings in England and Wales.

Seven of these are severe - all in north-east England.

The Environment Agency has warned of an increased threat of flooding as rainwater drains into river systems.

The Environment Agency's Peter Kerr on concern for Morpeth's residents

The death in Stroud also took place on Friday.

Police said the man, from Cheltenham, was working on a trench at a construction site when it collapsed, burying him under tonnes of mud. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

An estimated 1,000 properties in Morpeth have been evacuated after the River Wansbeck burst its banks. Minibuses are being used to move people to higher ground.

BBC correspondent Chris Buckler, in Morpeth, said more and more streets were disappearing under floodwater, while the rain continued to fall.

In the Pickering area of North Yorkshire, several properties and roads have been flooded after the local beck burst its banks.

Fire crews have been on hand to pump out houses and residents have been told to move possessions upstairs.

I think our catchments and the soils are very wet and saturated, and river levels are therefore responding very quickly
Phil Rothwell
The Environment Agency

In the village of Kirkley Mill, Northumberland, an RSPCA emergency team, called out to help some horses, found themselves rescuing a baby trapped in a car.

Spokeswoman Katie Geary said: "The horses were fine but when we got there we found a couple trying to get their baby out of a car. The door had been jammed - they were very relieved we were able to help."

Meanwhile, West Mercia police have reported flooding in Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire.

Motorists are being urged to be cautious.

Chief Superintendent Viv Howells of West Mercia Constabulary said: "Some localised flooding is being experienced and there is a large amount of surface water on the roads. However, there is no cause for major concern."

Many sporting and cultural events also had to be cancelled due to the wet weather.

Gloucestershire's biggest agricultural event, the Moreton-in-Marsh show, was abandoned, as were race meetings at Haydock Park, Merseyside; Stratford, Warwickshire; Gosforth Park, Newcastle, and Worcester, Worcestershire.

Phil Rothwell, from the Environment Agency, says the wet summer hasn't helped the situation.

"I think our catchments and the soils are very wet and saturated, and river levels are therefore responding very quickly."


SEE ALSO
England floods: Your pictures
06 Sep 08 |  In Pictures
Home collapses as floods strike
06 Sep 08 |  England
Rivers rising after weather bites
06 Sep 08 |  Shropshire
Flood warnings removed after rain
06 Sep 08 |  North Yorkshire

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