Man Dies After Falling Into River In South Wales During Storm Dennis As Police Declare 'Major Incident'

A man in South Wales has died after falling into a river during Storm Dennis as the UK was left counting the cost of the extreme weather. 

The man fell into the River Tawe at Ystradgynlais at around 10am on Sunday, police said.

He was later found dead further along the river in the Trebanos area. He has not yet been named. 

The news came as police in South Wales declared a major incident following severe flooding and the north Atlantic storm, described as a “bomb cyclone”, triggered nearly 600 flood warnings and alerts in England alone on Sunday - more than any other day on record.

Lifeboats were used to evacuate streets in some of the worst-it areas, with people moved to emergency rescue centres after their homes were devastated by water from overflowing rivers.

On Sunday afternoon South Wales Police said they had declared a major incident as firefighters and rescue crews continued to help communities who have been cut off due to the flood water.

It comes after residents in South Wales were warned that Storm Dennis could pose a “danger to life”, with the Met Office issuing a red weather warning until 11am on Sunday due to heavy rainfall and flooding risk. 

Tredegar in south-eastern Wales received 105mm of rain in the 24 hours leading up to 7am, while a gust of 91mph was recorded on Saturday evening in Aberdaron. 

One-year-old Blake is carried by a rescue worker as emergency services continue to take families to safety, after flooding in Nantgarw, Wales, as Storm Dennis hit the UK. (Photo: PA)

One of the worst-hit areas in South Wales was the village of Nantgarw, Rhondda Cynon Taff, near Cardiff, which had seen entire streets left underwater since the early hours of Sunday morning.

Emergency teams including firefighters and volunteers had been evacuating the village’s Oxford Street since around 5am and were still working midday on Sunday.

Paul Mason, group manager of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, said the scene his team had faced was the worst he had experienced in his 31-year career.

“The water was up to the window sills in some instances, so we sent a number of boats and crews down here to assist with our partner agencies, systematically going through each of the houses, knocking on doors, trying to prioritise individuals,” he said. 

“This weather is unprecedented. We haven’t seen this, it’s incredible, and it’s right throughout the South Wales Valleys.” 

Mason added: “I’ve never experienced anything like this.”  

Members of the public are rescued after flooding in Nantgarw, Wales as Storm Dennis hit the UK. (Photo: PA)

The Environment Agency also issued four severe flood warnings – meaning there is a risk to life – along the River Teme in Worcestershire, Herefordshire and Shropshire. 

Meanwhile, the agency said on Sunday afternoon that there had been more than 600 flood warnings and flood alerts in place across England – covering an area from Scotland’s River Tweed to the rivers of west Cornwall.

According to John Curtin, the director of flood management at the Environment Agency, there were more flood warnings and alerts in force in England on Sunday than on any other day on record. 

In Scotland, residents in Newcastleton were evacuated from their homes, while two people had to be rescued after their car was swept off the road, the BBC reported

The storm has caused major disruption to travel, with rail services across South Wales suspended after tracks were submerged by rain. The line between Derby and Long Eaton was also closed.

Meanwhile, flooding saw the M54 westbound closed at Telford, along with the A616 around Stocksbridge in South Yorkshire and the A52 between Stragglethorpe and Gamston in the East Midlands, Highways England said.

Hundreds of flights have also been grounded safety reasons, with British Airways and easyJet confirming cancellations.

More than 230 easyJet flights in and out of the UK on Saturday were cancelled. 

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Soldiers from The Highlanders, 4th Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Scotland assisting with flood defences in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire on Saturday (Photo: ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Earlier, the Ministry of Defence deployed British Army personnel to assist people in West Yorkshire areas badly hit by flooding during last weekend’s Storm Ciara.

According to the Met Office’s Greg Dewhurst, relief from Storm Dennis is still some distance away, with “heavy rain and strong winds” set to continue across large parts of the UK on Sunday.

“South Wales will see a lot of rain fall before Dennis moves north later to Scotland and Northern Ireland,” he said. 

Two bodies were pulled from rough seas on Saturday, before the worst of the storm hit.

One man was found following a huge search operation off Margate after an early-morning distress call, while another was found at Herne Bay.

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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.