Woman dies after being winched from the sea as Storm Angus batters Britain
A woman who was winched from the sea as the aftermath of Storm Angus battered Britain has died, Kent Police said.
Folkestone and Dungeness coastguard, Dover lifeboat and a helicopter were scrambled at 6.54am after receiving reports that the woman was in the water off Folkestone harbour.
But a Kent police spokesman said the 39-year-old woman “sadly passed away despite efforts from emergency services to save her”.
It came as torrential downpours caused flash-flooding and travel chaos across a swathe of the country.
Exeter cut off
The south-west was cut off as flooding damaged the main rail network. The mainline was once again been severed by bad weather, with the rail track severely damaged by flood waters at Cowley Bridge, Exeter, Devon.
Network Rail say there will be no trains in and out of Exeter for 48 hours.
Local network train passengers were also facing severe disruption with several services in the west country suspended due to flooding.
There were reports of stranded motorists needing rescue by emergency services from Devon and Cornwall to Tyne and Wear, while the deluge closed roads and schools, homes flooded, and railway lines were engulfed in the wake of Storm Angus.
Flood sirens set off
Locals in Todmorden, North Yorkshire and Hebden Bridge in East Yorkshire, reported flood sirens on Monday evening as the Environment Agency issued fresh warnings.
Passengers on board a ferry in the Irish Sea were forced to spend the night in howling gales off the Welsh coast after it was deemed too dangerous to attempt to dock, while hundreds of homes were left without power in the North East.
Travel chaos in London
In London, thousands of people crammed onto the concourse at Waterloo station as poor conditions caused by flash floods led to delays and cancellations of mainline services.
Services from Paddington and King’s Cross to Bristol and Cardiff were axed as the south-west bore the brunt of the storm, with 2in (50mm) of rain in 24 hours.
Alerts remained in place around the M25 on Tuesday morning, with motorists warned of possible flooding in ten areas from Leatherhead round to Dagenham.
Tameside and Oldham badly hit
Flooding and high winds saw Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service receive 230 calls between 4pm and 9pm on Monday, with parts of the area still under water on Tuesday morning.
Tameside and Oldham were some of the worst-hit areas, with three inches of rain falling up until 7pm.
Oldham Council warned residents in a tweet to avoid Well-I-Hole Bridge in the Greenfield area as it is “in danger of collapse”.
Several streets plus some minor roads have been closed.
Firefighters performed a number of rescues, including saving dogs from flooded kennels in Mossley and helping people who were trapped inside their homes in Stalybridge, where torrential water had burst through doors.
GMFRS said that two couples were carried to safety from two houses in Stalybridge.
Floodwater is still gushing across Huddersfield Road in Stalybridge.
Motorists stranded in south-west
There were also reports of stranded motorists awaiting rescue by emergency services from Devon and Cornwall to Tyne and Wear, while the deluge closed roads and schools, flooded homes and engulfed railway lines in the wake of Storm Angus.
Avon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service has closed Jasmine Way in Weston-super-Mare to allow crews to deal with flooding.
A spokesman said: “Since Monday afternoon crews have been on scene at a flooding incident at the ponds at the rear of Jasmine Way. Due to heavy rain, the ponds have over-filled and the surrounding areas have flooded.”
Meanwhile, search teams were waiting for conditions to improve to resume an operation to find a pensioner who went missing in South Wales.
Wind warnings issued by the Met Office were due to stay in place into Tuesday morning, with gusts of up to 70mph recorded on the Isle of Wight.
Squally weather is due to persist throughout Tuesday, with gusts of around 50mph expected to continue over higher ground and coastal areas in the South East, forecaster Greg Dewhurst said.
“We have seen the area of low pressure that brought heavy rain to the south and west moving into southern Scotland and the North East overnight.
“Throughout today the wet and windy weather within that low pressure area will slowly move into the North Sea.
“Behind this most places will still see showers, some heavy but getting lighter during the day. Away from the low pressure we should see some sunshine around Northern Ireland and western Scotland.”
Tuesday’s weather map
A yellow warning of rain in force over a broad area of the North East lifted at 6am along with a yellow warning of wind covering the Scottish Borders and much of Cumbria.
A further yellow warning of winds up to 70-80mph covering coasts in the South East will lift at 9am.
Gusts of between 50-60mph are forecast to continue through the area throughout Tuesday, with 40-50mph expected over higher ground and 20-30mph inland.
Temperatures are expected to peak at 10C (50F) – 12C (53.6F) in southern areas and 4C (39.2F) – -6C (43F) in northern parts.
More than 70 flood warnings were put in place across the South West, the Midlands, North East, North West, Wales and the East of England by the Environment Agency on Monday evening, with a further 215 flood alerts issued across England and Wales.
A Stena Europe ferry which failed to dock at Fishguard at 12.30pm after leaving Rosslare, Ireland at 9am on Monday is expected to attempt a second docking at midday, a Stena Line spokeswoman said.
The company said 87 passengers and 59 crew members remained on board the vessel overnight and stressed the health and safety of all on board is “paramount”.
Police in South Wales looking for 69-year-old Russell Sherwood who disappeared during Storm Angus are expected to resume the search for the pensioner on Tuesday, after fading light and treacherous weather conditions halted efforts. On Monday teams scoured the River Ogmore and routes he may have driven along near Neath.
Conditions are due to improve into Wednesday as the unsettled conditions pass, with colder nights expected under clearer skies.
The mercury could dip to minus 5C (23F) in the Scottish Highlands, while many could wake up to frost on Wednesday.
On Monday, Services between London Paddington and Cardiff were also disrupted, with reports of emergency services helping people from their vehicles.
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue said two people were “assisted from a vehicle” on the B3109 in South Wraxall.
While in Carmarthenshire, Wales Dyfed Powys Police said a man was helped from a van which had become trapped in flood water, before it was “washed away”.
Fire crews in Manchester have received 120 emergency calls in the space of two hours as heavy rain has caused flooding.
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service warned people to only dial 999 in an emergency as operators dealt with a “high volume” of weather-related calls.
A spokesman said: “Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service’s (GMFRS) control operators are receiving a high volume of weather-related calls this evening (Monday) and we ask that people only dial 999 in an emergency.
“In a two hour period (4pm to 6pm) 120 emergency calls were made by people – mostly reporting flooding and weather-related issues.”
The spokesman said the majority of callers were given advice over the phone but firefighters were called out to a number of incidents.
Crews helped rescue dogs from kennels in Mossley after the electrics in the building were affected by water.
Firefighters were called to the kennels on Huddersfield Road at 5.20pm.
Meanwhile, Devon County Council said 14 schools were shut owing to flooding and in Somerset schools were closed due to “weather related” problems, Somerset County Council said on its website.