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Saturday, April 11, 1998 Published at 03:35 GMT 04:35 UK


Body of third flood victim found
image: [ Thousands of homes have been evacuated ]
Thousands of homes have been evacuated

The BBC's Bob Sinkinson reports on the rescue operations mounted across Britain
The body of a 14-year-old boy has been found in Warwickshire, bringing the death toll up to three in the floods that have caused havoc across large areas of the UK.

Searches are continuing for a 33-year-old woman who is feared drowned.

The boy, Carl Giles, was washed out of a milkman's delivery van when it was swept off the road at Eathorpe, near Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, on Friday.

The boy was earning extra pocket money during his school holiday.

The driver managed to clamber to safety and was treated for hypothermia.

But paramedics could not reach the submerged van, and police launched a search for the Coventry teenager on Friday.

The search, which was joined by the Army and sniffer dogs, was called off at nightfall and resumed at dawn on Saturday.

On Friday, an elderly woman was found dead inside a flooded house in Northampton. She is believed to have drowned as floodwaters overwhelmed her as she slept.

The body of a middle-aged man was also recovered from a caravan site that flooded near Evesham in Hereford.

But hopes are fading for the 33-year-old woman believed to have fallen from a narrowboat into a flooded river in Northampton. The woman, who lived on the boat moored on the river Nene with her husband, was reported missing on Thursday night.

Rivers on flood warnings

Thousands of people were evacuated from their homes after the equivalent of one month's rain fell in 24 hours.

There are still 30 rivers on red flood warnings, while 40 more have amber warnings, mainly across central and eastern England.

Teams of workers are trying to build up flood defences in areas where rivers have not yet breached their banks.

[ image: Even the temporary accomodation has been evacuated]
Even the temporary accomodation has been evacuated
The head of flood defence at the Environment Agency, Bryan Utteridge, said that nothing more could have been done to avert the floods which have led to hundreds of people being evacuated from their homes.

"We all have to realise the magnitude of what we are dealing with here. We've seen nothing like this in living memory," he said.

"In the business we take our measure on the great flood of 1947 and the sort of levels we saw in the Avon at Evesham yesterday were 0.4 of a metre in excess of 1947. This is new territory. It happened very, very quickly."

Major emergency

Diane Holder, Warwickshire Police: appeal to motorists to stay at home
A Northamptonshire police spokesman said: "It is a major emergency. It is very, very bad. We have 1,000 homes in Northampton alone affected so that must mean thousands of people.

In Southam, Warwickshire, 1,000 people were evacuated from their homes and spent the night in a local school.

[ image: Emergency services working flat out]
Emergency services working flat out
Hundreds were also evacuated from houses in Oxfordshire's Cherwell valley.

In addition to the torrential rain, there was also 6cm of snow in Birmingham and snow and wintry showers in Shropshire and Leicestershire. There have even been a number of tornadoes across the country.

Weather forecasters say more heavy rain is expected over the Easter weekend.

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10 Apr 98 | UK
Two dead, two missing, in floods

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