Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Monday, 8 September 2008 16:33 UK

Flood fears ease as rains lighten

Flooding in Morpeth (pic: Iain Ogilvie)
Morpeth was deluged when the River Wansbeck burst its banks

Flood fears are easing across England and Wales as showers replace heavy rain and river levels settle.

However, BBC Weather said heavy rain was forecast for Tuesday.

A father rescued his three-year-old daughter from "certain death" after she was sucked into a storm drain in County Durham on Sunday, it has emerged.

Six have died in weather-related incidents since Friday, with floods in north-east England, North Yorkshire, Shropshire, Herefordshire and Worcs.

'More floods'

Some 24 flood warnings remained in place across England and Wales by 1616 BST on Monday - many in the North East and Midlands areas.

The Environment Agency said that "we can expect more floods to hit".

BBC Meteorologist Susan Powell said heavy rain on Tuesday could potentially cause further flooding in Northern Ireland, south-west Scotland, north-west England, south-west England and Wales.

Keith and Beverley Baxter

"It's not good news for Wales in particular," she said.

An Environment Agency spokesman said more flooding could be expected because river levels were already high.

The clean-up operation has begun in Morpeth, Northumberland, where an estimated 1,000 properties were flooded on Saturday and hundreds of people had to spend the night in temporary accommodation.

Floods minister John Healey is to visit the town to see the damage and meet some of the emergency teams who helped with the weekend's rescue effort.

Northumberland County Council member Andrew Tebbutt said Morpeth had been "virtually cut off" from the outside world by the rising water after the River Wansbeck burst its banks, but the situation had "eased considerably".

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Clean-up underway following floods in Morpeth

Council officials say it will be months before everyone affected will be allowed back into their homes.

The girl who was sucked into a storm drain travelled about 50 yards (46m) underground before being swept into the River Wear, near Durham Cricket ground, on Sunday evening, police said.

Her father, Keith Baxter from Leeming, North Yorkshire, dived in and pulled her to safety. Officers said the girl "miraculously" avoided serious injury.

On Friday six people died in incidents thought to be weather-related, including a 27-year-old man killed in a mudslide on a building site in Stroud, Gloucestershire.

Geologist Alex Wright from Cheltenham was surveying a site in Brimscombe Lane when one of the mud walls caved in.

Map shows August rainfall was above average in most of the UK.

A 17-year-old girl from Thamesmead, south London, died while on holiday in Powys when the 4X4 car she was travelling in overturned into a river.

A couple were killed when their car crashed into a tree in heavy rain in Plymouth, Devon.

It has also emerged that a 42-year-old Sheffield man was killed when the Kawasaki motorbike he was riding hit a tree branch on the A66.

And a motorcyclist died in a crash with a fire engine near the village of Wilton on the A170, between Scarborough and Pickering in North Yorkshire.

Wet summer

In Northumberland, an RAF helicopter was called to help three stranded police officers on Saturday night.

A Northumbria Police spokesman said the officers had originally been called to help some motorists cut off by a landslide 10 miles west of Alnwick.

The members of the public were taken to safety, but the officers were then trapped by another landslide. They were later led to safety unharmed by Northumberland Search and Rescue.

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

Around Pickering in North Yorkshire, several properties and roads were flooded after the local beck burst its banks.

Defences were deployed around the River Ouse in York.

It's frightful, it's awful, but we've been working hard and we've actually got some 400 people who we've evacuated
Andrew Tebutt
Morpeth councillor

In the West Midlands, meanwhile, several homes had to be evacuated, and some patients were moved from Selly Oak Hospital's flooded Brain Injury Clinic. At least one school - Shenley Court School, in Northfield - was closed on Monday because of flooding.

In Shropshire, flood barriers are in place around Shrewsbury and Ironbridge, and a couple of schools were closed on Monday.

In Gloucestershire, some 25 sheep died and 45 were rescued on Monday after becoming trapped by rising flood water from the River Severn at Staplins Farm in Coombe Hill.

People have been advised to keep updated through news outlets and to call the Floodline on 0845 988 1188.


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SEE ALSO
Floods clean-up operation begins
08 Sep 08 |  England
Firefighters save 50 from floods
08 Sep 08 |  Hereford/Worcs
Morpeth a 'scene of devastation'
07 Sep 08 |  England
England floods: Your pictures
06 Sep 08 |  In Pictures

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