Man dies falling in river as Storm Dennis sparks major incidents in England and Wales

16 February 2020, 12:51

An Ambulance stands submerged in flood water after the River Taff burst its banks in Nantgarw, south of Ponypridd in south Wales
An Ambulance stands submerged in flood water after the River Taff burst its banks in Nantgarw, south of Ponypridd in south Wales. Picture: Getty

By Kate Buck

A man has died after falling into a river in South Wales, police have said.

The man, aged in his sixties, fell into the River Tawe near Gorsedd Park, Ystradgynlais, at around 10am this morning and was found seven miles along the river at Trebanos Rubgy Club.

His family have been informed, and his death is not being treated as suspicious or linked to adverse weather conditions.

Police are appealing for information, and have asked anyone who may have seen what happened to contact them.

The news comes after two bodies were pulled from rough seas in Kent on Saturday.

One man was found following a huge search operation off Margate after falling overboard an anchored ship in the early hours of the morning, and a teenager was discovered dead in the waters at Herne Bay.

Major incidents were earlier declared in South Wales and Herefordshire as more than a months rain fell in just 48 hours.

Earlier this morning, a red alert was issued for flooding, with residents being warned their lives could be at risk from fast flowing or deep floodwater, extensive flooding to homes, collapsed or damaged buildings and bridges, and road and rail closures.

Emergency services in the area have been rescuing people and pets from their homes in the effected areas, with the Met Office describing the situation as "life threatening".

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Weather forecasters said that winds of more than 80mph were recorded across parts of the country, with the highest measuring 91mph in Aberdaron in north Wales on Saturday.

A total of 156.2mm of rain fell at Crai Reservoir in Powys in the 48 hours from Friday to Sunday morning, it added.

The average monthly rainfall for February in Wales is 111.1mm, the Met Office added.Severe flood warning have been issued for the rivers Neath and Taff in South Wales, as well as the River Teme further north.

Rescuers kept spirits high as they ensured residents were safe
Rescuers kept spirits high as they ensured residents were safe. Picture: Getty
Flood water surrounds the bowling club after the River Taff burst its banks in Taffs Wells, north of Cardiff
Flood water surrounds the bowling club after the River Taff burst its banks in Taffs Wells, north of Cardiff. Picture: Getty

Pictures on social media show the Taff bursting its banks and flooding parts of Pontypridd, while rescue workers were using boats to get families to safety after further flooding in nearby Nantgarw.

Gwent Police said that residents of Skenfrith, Monmouthshire, were being advised to evacuate due to the flooding.

At about 11am on Sunday there were 250 flood warnings, meaning immediate action is required, and 344 flood alerts warning people to be prepared, covering an area from Scotland's River Tweed to the rivers of west Cornwall.

Severe flood warning were issued for the Scottish Borders but these were no longer in force by late on Sunday morning.

The Met Office has issued amber alerts - meaning people must be prepared to change plans and protect themselves and their family from the storm - for parts of Yorkshire, Wales, Devon, East Sussex and Kent.

Rail services were suspended across South Wales after tracks were submerged by rain, while the line between Derby and Long Eaton was also closed.

Flooding saw the M54 westbound closed at Telford, along with the A616 around Stocksbridge in South Yorkshire and the A52 between Stragglethorpe and Gamston in the East Midlands, Highways England said.

Relief from Storm Dennis is still some distance away, the Met Office's Mr Dewhurst said, adding that "heavy rain and strong winds" would continue across large parts of the UK on Sunday.

South Wales will see a lot of rain fall before Dennis moves north later to Scotland and Northern Ireland.

One rescuers makes sure a Labrador gets out of the floodwater safely
One rescuers makes sure a Labrador gets out of the floodwater safely. Picture: Getty
Powerful waves break on the shoreline around the small port of Porthleven, south west England
Powerful waves break on the shoreline around the small port of Porthleven, south west England. Picture: PA

Earlier, the Ministry of Defence deployed British Army personnel to assist people in West Yorkshire areas badly hit by flooding during last weekend's Storm Ciara.

Flights have been grounded for safety reasons, with British Airways and easyJet confirming cancellations.

More than 230 easyJet flights in and out of the UK on Saturday were cancelled, while several sporting fixtures were also called off due to the weather.

More to follow...

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