UK weather: Body of boy, 13, pulled from 'hazardous' County Durham river

Telegraph reporters
Rescue workers search for the teenager in the River Wear - NNP

The body of a teenage boy has been found in the River Wear following a major search for a missing 13-year-old.

Specialists from Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue joined police, fire officers and a police helicopter in search efforts near Bishop Auckland, County Durham, on Sunday night.

A Durham Police spokeswoman said: "Sadly, the body of a teenager was found in the river this morning. Formal identification has yet to take place, but it is believed to be the body of a 13-year-old boy.

"His family have been informed, and our thoughts are with them at this tragic time."

The spokeswoman said the boy's death was not being treated as suspicious and a file would be prepared for the coroner.

Earlier, the force had urged people not to join the search because conditions near the river were treacherous.

Before the body was found, the force tweeted: "We are aware of a number of people who are planning to go to the Bishop Auckland area this morning to assist in the search.

"Conditions near the river are particularly hazardous, and we would request that people stay away from the area for their own safety."

Local MP Dehenna Davison tweeted her sadness at the news, saying she and her team "will be there to offer support to anyone affected".

Snow woe for flood-hit towns

Snow is expected to cause problems across northern England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on Monday, and the Met Office has issued more flood warnings.

A new severe flood warning – meaning an imminent threat to life – was issued for the River Severn in Shrewsbury as the Environment Agency warned of ongoing flooding danger across England.

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said: "It could be a pretty tricky commute first thing tomorrow for a lot of people. It's certainly turning more wintry."

The gloomy prediction came as George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, defended Boris Johnson for defying calls to visit flood-stricken areas despite a third consecutive weekend of storms.

The deluge that flooded Worcester racecourse was good news only for the town's canoe club - Jacob King/PA
A threat to life warning has been issued for the River Severn - Jacob King/PA
Rain has left parts of York heavily flooded - Danny Lawson/PA

Mr Eustice told Sky's Sophy Ridge On Sunday: "In a Cabinet Government, it's not a one-man show. It's right that, on certain operational things such as this, the Prime Minister will ask one of his Cabinet members to lead. I can't see anything wrong with that."

A yellow weather warning has been issued for snow across all but the most northern areas of Scotland and Aberdeen from 3am on Monday. Higher ground is expected to get significant accumulations, but commuters in the Central Belt have been warned to take care.

Even Scotland's lower regions are set to get a covering of snow on Monday, with traffic disruption predicted for the morning commute, as the new working week begins with more stormy weather.

The Met Office said Northern Ireland and parts of northern England are also expected to face snow, especially on higher ground where yellow weather warnings for snow and rain have been issued.

Areas of the north that dodge the snow are still likely to see large amounts of rain and gale force winds, the forecaster added.

As well as the severe flood warning for Shrewsbury, the Environment Agency (EA) had issued 91 flood warnings and 182 flood alerts by Monday morning. Warnings and alerts were in place from Cornwall to the Norfolk coast, and from Dorset to the Scottish border.

An EA spokesman said flooding is possible for parts of the West Midlands, along the Severn and Wye and also in parts of the north of England, including the lower River Aire in Yorkshire. He said: "This rain is falling on saturated catchments where river levels are already high."

England has already received over 141 per cent of its average February rainfall so far, but the spokesman said it was too early to comment on reports that it may be the wettest February for 30 years.

2402 Weather

Scotland endured further flooding on Saturday, with a number of reports of vehicles becoming stranded in towns and villages west of Glasgow.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency said three flood warnings were in force on Monday morning, with four further flood alerts. In Wales, there were nine flood warnings in force and 19 alerts.

While the extreme weather should settle down over Tuesday and Wednesday – accompanied by a notable dip in temperatures – the Met Office said further heavy rain is expected on Friday.

The outlook follows more than a fortnight of downpours and flooding that started with Storm Ciara, continued with Storm Dennis and kept going with the weekend's storms.