Page last updated at 20:30 GMT, Thursday, 30 October 2008

Flood-trapped mother gives birth


The Halls were taken to hospital by car, ambulance and police car

A woman who was trapped in floods while in labour is celebrating the birth of her baby boy.

Phil and Juliet Hall left their home near Honiton, Devon, for the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital when Mrs Hall went into labour three weeks early.

But they were stopped by police officers near Ottery St Mary because the A30 was closed.

The couple were ferried to hospital by car, ambulance and police car where Nathan was born after a 10-hour labour.

Lightning flashes

The couple set off on the 20-mile (32km) journey from their home in Northleigh when Mrs Hall began her contractions about three weeks earlier than expected.

However, they had not expected the appalling weather conditions which saw about 1ft (0.3m) of hail fall in the Ottery St Mary area between 0100 and 0300 GMT.

Juliet Hall, 34, said: "I remember just seeing flashes of lightning the whole time and then seeing blue flashing lights, and that was a fire engine leading a motorcyclist.

"Then that pulled off, and then I remember seeing blue flashing lights and saying: 'Please don't let the road be closed'. That's when I saw the police.

He said: 'We'd better try and sort something out'
Phil Hall on his conversation with road block police

"Phil said: 'My wife's in labour,' and they said: 'You're not going anywhere'.

Phil Hall, 42, explained the situation to officers after he pulled to the head of a queue of traffic on the closed road.

He said: "The police waved me down and said: 'You can't go any further.

"I said I've got to get to the hospital,' and once I explained what was going on he said: 'We'd better try and sort something out'."

After reaching the hospital, the couple's son was born after a 10-hour labour, weighing 6lbs 10.5oz (3.1kg).

The family said they were looking forward to going home after the birth, adding the were grateful to everyone who helped.

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