Batten down hatches for a stormy weekend

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Householders and motorists are being warned to be vigilant as heavy winds and rain which have led to extensive flooding and caused river levels to rise are set to continue over a stormy weekend.

Authorities yesterday confirmed a man had died after being trapped in his 4x4 when it became wedged beneath a bridge, preventing his escape, in Chew Stoke, Somerset, at 8.50pm on Thursday, as the south of England struggled against the deluge. He was eventually pulled from the vehicle but pronounced dead after emergency crews were called to the scene.

There have also been a number of injuries related to the winds which have battered the country, including an elderly pedestrian whose head was cut after being struck by a tree and a female driver in her 50s who escaped with minor injuries after her car was crushed by a falling tree.

In Yorkshire, Environment Agency officers responded to a request for help from Yorkshire Water, to help clear a blocked culvert in Hornsea.

Officers worked with Yorkshire Water and East Riding of Yorkshire Council until 11pm to clear the blockage and reduce the risk of localised flooding.

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for heavy rain and strong winds this weekend, affecting the South West, before it moves through the country, hitting Yorkshire from this afternoon into tomorrow.

Last night there were 61 flood warnings in place across the UK, mostly affecting the South and Midlands, with 162 flood alerts, including five affecting rivers in the region – the tidal River Ouse around the Kelfield, Wistow, Selby and Cawood areas which were badly affected during flooding in September; the Lower River Derwent around Stamford Bridge, Pocklington, Wressle, Wilberforce and Elvington; the River Nidd at its confluence with the Ouse; the Foulness and the Market Weighton catchment area; and the Upper River Ouse in York.

An alert was also in place for the Holderness area, including Bransholme, Hedon, Burstwick, Kilnsea and Hornsea.

Darron Burness, the AA’s head of special operations, said: “Even if you think you know your local roads, don’t be complacent, as flash-flooding continues to be a real risk.”