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Last Updated: Monday, 25 June 2007, 15:20 GMT 16:20 UK
Wind and rain bring travel chaos
Heavy seas at Tynemouth
Gale force winds are blasting much of the country
Severe weather has flooded homes, closed schools and is causing chaos for thousands of travellers across England.

Floods have closed many main roads and disrupted rail services. Forecasters have issued severe weather warnings across most of the country.

Meanwhile, a man died when he became trapped in a drain in Hull, and a boy aged 13 is missing in Sheffield.

Heavy rain forced Dame Shirley Bassey's helicopter to land, as she returned from her set at Glastonbury Festival.

The opening of the Wimbledon tennis tournament was held up by rain, and festival-goers have been delayed leaving Glastonbury in Somerset.

Forecasters have warned of gales and downpours dumping up to a month's rain in the next 24 hours. Several rivers are at risk of flooding.

The flood risk is being exacerbated because the ground is already saturated from last week's rain.

Dogs rescued

The worst weather is being experienced across Yorkshire and Lincolnshire where twice the average June rainfall has already fallen.

Nina Ridge from the BBC Weather Centre said an area of low pressure was responsible.

"It is moving very slowly and is really just sitting there adding to the totals," she said.

spray on M32 Bristol
Drivers have got to slow down - you must take account of the surface conditions
Jill Risdale, Highways Agency

In Sheffield, a search is underway for 13-year-old boy who was swept away by floodwater from the River Sheaf in Millhouses Park.

Fire and rescue services from the South West to Humberside have reported hundreds of calls from people affected by flooding.

Among them was the fatal incident in Hull where emergency crews and police divers tried to rescue a man whose foot became trapped in a manhole in Astral Close, Hessle.

Heavy rain caused streams to overflow their banks, flooding homes in north Devon and a motorist was injured when a tree fell on his car near Exeter.

In Gloucestershire, a number of schools and roads were closed and 70 dogs had to be rescued from a flooded kennels in Gloucester.

Power cuts

There were several accidents on the M5 and M4 in the West Country.

Jill Risdale from the Highways Agency said: "Drivers have got to slow down. You must take account of the surface conditions - there's a lot of surface water and spray."

Hundreds of homes were left without electricity in Herefordshire when power lines came down. Flooded roads left some villages cut off.

Wath-upon-Dearne, South Yorkshire. Picture Sean Hudson
Many roads are impassable. Picture by Sean Hudson

Dozens of schools and roads in Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire closed and hundreds of homes have been flooded.

In Louth, a boy was dragged to safety from a swollen river by passers by.

In Middlesbrough, the re-opening of the town's Transporter Bridge was delayed for two days because rain hampered repair work.

Environment Agency flood warnings are in place for the Anglian, Midlands, North East and Thames regions.

Cup of tea

On the railways, GNER urged passengers not to use the East Coast Main Line because sections were closed.

Central Trains, Chiltern Railways, First Capital Connect, First Great Western, Transpennine Express and Virgin Trains all warned of disruption.

At Glastonbury, police and organisers handed out 3,000 foil blankets to people awaiting transport from the rain-soaked site.

Dame Shirley Bassey was being flown from her set at the festival when her helicopter was forced to land at Collingwood College, Camberley, Surrey.

The singer was given a cup of tea by a local resident.

River rescuers save life of boy
25 Jun 07 |  Lincolnshire
Bad weather grounds Dame Shirley
25 Jun 07 |  England
Flooding affects railway network
25 Jun 07 |  England
In pictures: England weather
25 Jun 07 |  In Pictures

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