Cameron pledges to help victims after two die in UK floods
The British government has pledged to help victims of widespread flooding across the UK, as gale force winds and torrential rain across a vast swathe of the country claimed the lives of two people.
A 21-year-old woman was killed when a tree smashed into her tent while she was sleeping, near Exeter city centre, while a 70-year-old man died after his car crashed into a swollen river in Cambridgeshire.
The British government said yesterday that almost 500 homes and businesses had been flooded, mainly in the southwest of England and the midlands. Overnight, four severe flood warnings – meaning lives are in danger – were issued for Cornwall, southwest England, though by first light this had been reduced to two. Dozens of sections of roads in the West Country, including the M5 and M50 motorways, were flooded.
The prime minister, David Cameron, pledged that the government would do everything possible to assist the flood victims.
In a tweet, he said: “Shocking scenes of flooding in Cornwall and around the country. Govt will help ensure everything is being done to help.”
The tent tragedy in Exeter happened on Western Way shortly before midnight. The woman who died was trapped under the tree. Two men who were also believed to have been in the tent were injured. Police were investigating why the woman and her two friends were in the tent.
The 70-year-old motorist died when his car left the road near Earith, in Cambridgeshire. Passersby pulled him from his vehicle and he was taken to hospital by air ambulance, but his life could not be saved. Conditions were described by locals as “pretty shocking” .
The Royal National Lifeboat Institution’s lifeboat crews were on standby to help in Exeter, and Helston and Polperro in Cornwall. Police warned people in flood-hit areas not to travel unless absolutely necessary and not to wade through contaminated floodwater.