Man killed after tree falls on car as Storm Henk disruption and damage continues

Disruption will continue on Wednesday, with a number of rail providers warning passengers to check their journey before travelling.

A motorist has been killed by a fallen tree as Storm Henk continues to cause widespread chaos and travel disruption across large parts of the UK.

Police said a man in his 50s died in Gloucestershire on Tuesday after winds caused a tree to fall onto the vehicle he was driving.

The Environment Agency said there were more than 350 active alerts in England for possible flooding, 300 plus flood warnings – meaning flooding is expected – and, in Northampton, one danger to life severe flood warning.

In Birmingham, a woman and her child were saved by a “local hero” after their car became submerged in floodwater.

Greater Anglia, South Western Railway and Great Northern Rail were among the rail firms to report “severe disruptions” to services.

A statement from Greater Anglia overnight said “multiple incidents” were affecting its services and that customers should check for possible delays or cancellations before travelling.

A joint statement from South Western Railway and Network Rail on X, formerly Twitter, said on Wednesday morning that disruptions linked to the storm will continue throughout the day.

“We are very sorry for the disruption customers experienced yesterday, due to the serious and widespread impact of Storm Henk,” the statement said.

“The severe winds led to trees on the line damaging or delaying trains in multiple locations across our network.”

Great Northern Rail said on X that services would be delayed from Cambridge to Ely and Kings Lynn until 10am on Wednesday as they work to repair damaged overhead wires and remove a damaged train.

And Southern Rail said delays were expected on Wednesday with repairs ongoing between Uckfield, Buxted and Crowborough.

Thameslink said services are back to normal after disruptions on Tuesday.

Risk of flooding and 90mph winds

Storm Henk battered large parts of southern England, the Midlands, East Anglia and Wales throughout Tuesday.

The majority of the flood warnings now in place are covering the central part of England, in Birmingham, Leicester and Northampton.

In Wales there was one severe flood warning, as well as dozens of flood warnings and alerts, according to Natural Resources Wales.

A man in Birmingham has been hailed as a “hero” after he rescued a mother and her child from dangerous flood water.

Police say the man saved the woman and her three-year-old daughter from a car that was submerged in water.

In Orpington, meanwhile, a woman was injured by a falling tree as gusts of up to 94mph hit.

The Metropolitan Police were called at 3.14pm on Tuesday to reports that a woman had been struck by a tree in Station Approach.

A mother and daughter were rescued in Birmingham after their car (pictured) became submerged in floodwater. / Credit: BPM Media

A spokesperson for the force said the woman had been taken to hospital and that her injuries were not believed to be “life-threatening”.

The strongest gales were recorded at the Needles Old Battery in the Isle of Wight, where wind speeds reached 94mph.

Gusts of 81mph were reached at Exeter Airport in Devon, and top winds hit 71mph at the Isle of Portland in Dorset and also at Mumbles Head in Glamorgan.

The Energy Networks Association – which collates data from all energy providers – estimated that 10,000 customers were without power on Wednesday morning.

Stefan Laeger, the Environment Agency’s flood duty manager, said that the heavy rainfall means “significant local flooding” on the River Nene, in the east of England, is “probable” until Thursday.

He said: “Recent and ongoing heavy rain is falling on already very wet ground and could see some riverside locations across England flood until Thursday, while surface water flooding is also possible at times during the next five days in parts of the country.

“Environment Agency teams will be out on the ground, working to minimise the impacts of flooding where possible. We advise people to stay away from swollen rivers and urge people not to drive through flood water as just 30cm of flowing water is enough to move car.”

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