Building collapse kills driver in central London
Part of a central London building has collapsed onto a car, killing the driver, as more storms batter Britain.PT0M35S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-32tc5 620 349 February 16, 2014
London: Two people have died and Britain's coastal communities have been battered by high winds and huge waves as authorities warned Britain could remain flooded through Spring.
A cruise ship passenger died after 130km/h winds whipped up waves in the English Channel and a woman was killed when part of a building collapsed on a car in central London.
More than 30 people had to be rescued by emergency services and the army from a seafront restaurant in Milford on Sea, Hampshire, after a wind-blown shingle shattered windows and the sea flooded it.
Royal aid: The Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry help build flood barriers in Datchet. Photo: Getty Images
Hundreds of uprooted trees have blocked roads and railway lines across the country. Many train services have been cancelled.
The Environment Agency and emergency services continue to battle with the latest instalment of the worst winter storms in memory.
Twenty-two severe flood warnings were in place on Saturday, issued for coastal communities from Cornwall to Hampshire, Gloucester and the Thames Valley, where rivers remain at their highest levels for decades.
Communities across the country have been using sandbags and makeshift barriers to protect their homes and businesses from the floodwaters. Yesterday the Duke of Cambridge and his brother Prince Harry joined in the emergency relief as they helped fill sandbags in Datchet, Berkshire.
Forecasters predicted more heavy rainfall and gale-force winds for Saturday. The Met Office forecast 10 to 20 millimetres for southern England and up to 40 millimetres for south-west England and south Wales.
Winds have wrought fresh havoc, with gusts of up to 130km/h hitting exposed parts of the south coast.
Lymington coastguard, fire services and the army rescued 32 people from the Marine Restaurant in Milford on Sea at 10pm on Friday, evacuating them in an army vehicle.
In central London, a woman died and three other people were injured when the fascia of a building collapsed on to a car opposite Holborn underground station.
A man and a woman were freed from the car but the woman died at the scene, London Ambulance Service said. A man in his 20s was taken to hospital with leg injuries. He is in a stable condition.
An 85-year-old man died on Friday after a freak wave in the English Channel struck the 22,000-tonne cruise ship Marco Polo.
Water crashed through a window, injuring a number of people. The man was airlifted off the vessel along with a woman in her 70s, but later died. A number of other passengers received minor injuries and were treated on board.
Forecasters expected Saturday's storm to be the last before a return to normal weather but warned floods would not ease for weeks.
Environment Agency head of strategy Pete Fox said: "The headline is this flood event is not over. If it rains in the Cotswolds today, that water will not arrive in Staines until Tuesday or Wednesday. The river levels we have got for the Thames are going to stay high for the next week.
"In places like Hambledon [Hants] and the North Downs we have unprecedented levels of groundwater. Those high levels are going to maintain for weeks and cause flood risk for weeks to come yet, into March and beyond."
PA; Telegraph, London