Floods: Man Dies As More Rain Expected

An elderly man has died after becoming trapped in his 4x4 in floods after large parts of the UK were hit by strong winds and heavy rain.

There has been a respite in the downpours, but the wet conditions are expected to return this weekend with gale force winds in parts.

Around 70 flood warnings and about 150 less serious flood alerts are in place for rivers.

The areas most affected by the heavy downpours were Wales and southwest England.

But the majority of the UK was hit by the storms as they were pushed eastwards throughout Thursday, causing flash flooding. Much of the rain overnight fell on already saturated ground.

Hundreds of drivers were stranded, thousands of homes were without power and more than 100 people were evacuated as winds reached more than 86mph.

The unnamed man who died after becoming trapped in his car in floodwater is believed to have been visiting a relative when his 4x4 was swept away crossing a ford.

The Mitsubishi Shogun was completely submerged, wedged under a small wooden bridge at Rectory Fields, in Chew Stoke, Somerset, at 8.50pm on Wednesday.

Fire crews, police and search and rescue teams attended the scene and found the victim who was pronounced dead on the way to hospital.

The vehicle was winched from the stream by a forklift truck and lifted onto a truck before being taken away.

Chew Stoke resident David Smith, 76, said it was the second time in 24 hours in which a 4x4 had got into trouble crossing the ford.

:: See the latest weather forecast

Mr Smith said: "About 24 hours ago, a Land Rover came past here and I flagged him down and told him he ought not to try and cross the ford, but he did and he was swept away in the middle of the ford.

"Fortunately, his vehicle was caught by one of the bollards on the road and he was able to climb out of the window on to the roof."

In Torquay, Devon, several homes were evacuated after a landslide. Part of a cliff face was hit by a landslip after netting was washed away.

Amid the wet and windy weather, thousands of commuters also suffered disruptions, with many train services in the South West and connections to London Paddington either cancelled or delayed.

Sky's weather producer Joanna Robinson said: "There’s some respite in the weather today, but it’s been a windy and wet week, with local flooding.

"A deep area of low pressure is set to move in over the weekend, bringing yet more heavy rain to areas already badly hit. England and Wales could see 15 to 25mm quite widely, with up to 50mm possible in some spots."

South and west Wales and the West Country will be worst affected, she said.

"The wind will strengthen over the weekend too, with gales or perhaps even severe gales possible Saturday night and Sunday morning," she said.

"There's still some uncertainty about where the strongest winds will be, but it looks like southern counties of England will bear the brunt, with exposed parts seeing gusts up to 70mph."

The Met Office said some areas saw up to 60mm of rain on Thursday.

Thousands of households in the South West and hundreds in Wales have been left without power after high winds brought down power lines.

The AA said the last few days have been some of its busiest for flood-related call-outs, with many roads impassable.

The RSPCA said it had received more than 140 calls about animals affected by flood water. In Barrow Upon Soar, Leicestershire, four horses which were unable to feed were rescued from a submerged field.

:: Send us your flooding photos and videos .