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  1. ITV Report

Autumn weather early: flood warnings by area

BMW in a ditch surrounded and submerged in flood water on Bristol Road in North Somerset after heavy rain affects roads across South West. Photo: PA

Travel has been disrupted by flooding on railways and roads, with warnings of further floods as some regions have the prospect of up to three inches of rain in the next 24 hours.

Torrential rain overnight in the South West led to the flooding of about 15 properties in Somerset and chaos to train services between Exeter and Bristol, while flooding was slowing down trains between Chester and north Wales.

Our correspondent Rupert Evelyn reports from Herefordshire.

For more information on flooding in different parts of the country, go to the ITV News site for your region:

A 4x4 vehicle emerges from flood water that has closed a road on Sleep Lane, Witchurch near Bristol after heavy rain. Credit: PA

The Highways Agency also said surface water flooding was leading to delays on the A49 near Ludlow in Shropshire.

Motorists were being told to be careful on flooded roads in flood plains and in valleys.

The Met Office is forecasting that up to 100mm over three inches of rain may fall over some of northern England, the Midlands and north and east Wales over the next 24 hours, with some regions getting over the average for the whole month of September.

The Pennines are predicted to be worst hit, with an increased risk of flooding for areas near the rivers Aire and Calder.

Earlier there were 20 flood warnings for rivers in place in the South West, North East and Midlands and the Environment Agency is also warning of surface water flooding.

A man with a broken umbrella walks through Stockport. Credit: PA

The Met Office is also warning of high winds across south-east England, with winds of up to 60mph inland and 70mph along the coast, with similar wind speeds in north-east England and eastern Scotland on Tuesday.

A woman was killed by a falling tree branch in Kew Gardens in London on Sunday during rain and gusts of wind close to 30mph, as stormy weather battered much of the UK.

The Environment Agency has urged people to stay safe in the face of flooding, keeping away from swollen rivers and not to attempt to drive through floodwater.

The agency said it was likely that it would issue a large number of flood warnings and alerts for rivers in the next few days and had sent out teams across the UK to look at flood defences, clear blockages and monitor river levels.

White capped waves at Whitby today as torrential rain and gale force winds sweep across much of the UK. Credit: PA

Motorists are being told to heed safety warnings as flood water hit roads near flood plains and in valleys.

Road users were forced to lower speed - or take an alternative route - to avoid aquaplaning and risk losing control in standing water.

And on the railways, Tiverton Parkway station in Devon, which is near two valleys, was among the worst-hit areas, with train services between Exeter and Bristol falling victim to the adverse conditions.

Some passengers said they had to make alternative arrangements after their services were delayed.

One woman, travelling to London from Tiverton Parkway, said she had to take her car instead, after delays to the service meant she would miss a business meeting.

Avon and Somerset Police were telling motorists to be cautious after the heavy rainfall and reminded drivers to avoid deep water, as a number of vehicles had already become stranded.

Kew Gardens said it was closed to the public on Monday "as a precaution" the Met Office's warning of adverse weather for London, including gusts of over 50mph.

The overnight heavy rain has caused huge problems in parts of North Somerset, Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The Avon Fire & Rescue Service said it had received a lot of calls after 5am by householders reporting difficulties.

Giant waves at Sunderland today as the country is hit by gale force winds. Credit: PA

Following the severe weather warnings and flooding across the UK over the last two days, The Royal Life Saving Society UK has offered safety tips to avoid people suffering from the effects of flooding.

RLSS UK is warning families to stay clear of swollen rivers.

Following transport disruption across the UK after the heavy rainfal, it is also warning commuters to avoid driving through floodwater and telling drivers to be extremely cautious if they find themselves in these flooded areas, as just two feet of water is enough to float a car.

Two people were rescued from a car in water in Wrington Road, Congresbury, North Somerset and two other people were rescued from two cars in Queens Road, Withywood, Bristol.

The fire service said two people were rescued from a flood in a home in Langford Road, Lower Langford, North Somerset.

And two more people were rescued after 20 homes were flooded in Clover Close, Clevedon, North Somerset.

Three were rescued from a household flood in Nippors Way, Winscombe, North Somerset and one person was rescued from a car in water in Court Road, Frampton Cottrell, South Gloucestershire.

Aron Martin, 17, on Marsden beach near South Shields as heavy seas cause lots of foam along the beach. Credit: PA

Several roads in Chew Magna were also closed to motorists because of the rainfall, Bath and North East Somerset Council said.

Devon and Somerset Fire Service said it had responded to dozens of reports of flooding, mainly between 6am and 10am on Monday.

Severe flooding was reported in the Guildhall Lane and Gramball Lane area of Wedmore, near Wells, Somerset due to a swollen river - with water up to 3ft deep in some homes.

Flooding led to several vehicles stranded in floodwater on the A361 at Greinton, leading to the temporary closure of the road.

There was also a vehicle reported stuck in floodwater on the Shurton to Hinkley Point road, Storgursey.

Two people were also rescued from a car stuck in floodwater at Curry Mallet, Taunton, the fire service said.

People are often curious to see rivers at their peak but this can be dangerous. It’s vital not to underestimate the power of floodwater.

We’re calling on everyone to be proactive and to learn about water safety to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Some quick tips to remember in a flooding situation include, don’t try to walk or drive through floodwater – six inches of fast flowing water can knock you over and two feet of water will float your car.

And absolutely never try to swim through fast flowing water – you may get swept away or be struck by an object in the water.

– DI STANDLEY, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OF RLSS UK

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