Flood danger as heavy rain forecast

Emergency workers at the scene at the River Swale at Reeth where a canoeist, who has since died, was rescued

Emergency workers at the scene at the River Swale at Reeth where a canoeist, who has since died, was rescued

First published in National News © by

Almost 100 flood warnings remain in place across England as rivers continue to swell from the heavy rain, which has killed a canoeist.

The downpours and gusts of up to 65mph will continue on Monday afternoon, with the south west and the north of England most at risk from further flooding havoc, weather experts have said.

The canoeist died after being pulled from a fast-flowing swollen river by firefighters and mountain rescue volunteers on Sunday afternoon. He got into difficulties in the River Arkle, near Reeth in the Yorkshire Dales, prompting a major rescue operation.

Firefighters, using boats, pulled him out of the water but the Great North Air Ambulance Service later confirmed the man, who was in his 30s, died. North Yorkshire Fire Service was called to the scene on Arkengarthdale Road, Reeth, by paramedics just before 1pm on Sunday.

They attached a line to the canoe, helped by volunteers from the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team, because water in the swollen river was too fast-flowing to launch a boat to rescue the man, who had become trapped in debris.

The Environment Agency has around 87 flood warnings and more than 289 flood alerts in place, with river levels expected to swell further as successive bands of rain sweep the country.

All of England, Wales and Scotland, apart from possibly Kent, is expected to endure wet weather, with west and north England and north and west Scotland bearing the brunt of the heavy and persistent rain where up to 25mm will fall.

Gemma Plumb, a forecaster for MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said: "Many places should start dry and sunny this morning. But by the end of the day all but maybe Kent would have seen some rain as a series of fronts move eastwards bringing this heavy rain.

"The heavy more persistent rain will be in the north and south west of England, bringing a risk of flooding. There will also be some very strong winds, with gusts of up to 50mph across most areas but up to 65mph in northern and western areas."

She added that Tuesday night and Wednesday morning will see winds reach 85mph in Argyll, Scotland, and around 70mph for the rest of the country.

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