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Last Updated: Saturday, 12 January 2008, 12:32 GMT
Road accidents in flood aftermath
A trapped car near Winford
The rain and snow caused chaos (pic by Geoffrey George)
Emergency services were called to a series of accidents as freezing temperatures led to tricky driving conditions in parts of England.

Thousands of rail and road users were hit by travel chaos on Friday evening as more than 30mm of rain fell.

On Saturday, West Midlands Ambulance Service (WMAS) said it was called to eight crashes within two hours as motorists struggled with black ice.

The South West and the Midlands were the areas worst-hit by rain and snow.

A WMAS spokesman said: "We have had a very, very busy morning on the roads today and are urging motorists to take care as the cold weather is likely to continue."

On Saturday, the Environment Agency said a series of flood warnings remained in place in the Midlands and South West.

Flood rescues

The Met Office said Saturday would be mostly dry although rain, some heavy, is expected in some areas overnight.

Emergency services in the Black Country launched a search for a woman trapped upside down in her car in water after it went into a ditch on Saturday morning.

She was eventually found, uninjured, in a wooded area near Walsall.

Earlier, four people in Birmingham had to be rescued from their cars after getting trapped in rising flood waters.

Floodwater in Upton upon Severn
Floodwaters remained in some areas on Saturday

Three men were rescued from the roof of a Land Rover after being surrounded by flood water in Kings Heath at about 0200 GMT.

Another man's vehicle had to be winched out of a ford in Longbridge after he became trapped on Friday evening.

Earlier in Hampshire, 11 people were hurt in a crash involving 10 cars on the M3 amid heavy rain.

Police said the bad weather was a factor into their investigation into the crash.

Roads and motorways including the M4 and M5 were affected by snowfall and flooding overnight.

Rail services were also badly hit, with many First Great Western services between London and Wales either delayed or cancelled.

Icy conditions

Police were appealing to motorists in the affected areas not to travel unless necessary and to keep their speed down.

Bristol-based BBC meteorologist Richard Angwin said: "Between 25 and 35 millimetres of rain, sleet and snow fell across the region. That is about one third of the average January rainfall.

"Icy stretches are expected on untreated roads and drivers are advised to take great care on the roads.

"Further heavy rain is expected later on Sunday and there may be further localised flooding problems."


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VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Scenes of flooding in the West Country



SEE ALSO
Four rescued as heavy rain falls
12 Jan 08 |  England
Wind and rain bring travel chaos
25 Jun 07 |  England
Flooding affects railway network
25 Jun 07 |  England

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