Floods claim fourth life and leave worst insurance bills for five years
Martin Wainwright and Julia Kollewe
Tuesday 27 November 2012
Flooding in Britain has claimed a fourth life and brought misery to hundreds more homes, as torrential rain moves away into the North Sea leaving the worst insurance bills for five years in its wake.
Firefighters in the devastated centre of St Asaph, the small but historic north Wales community which was given city status by the Queen to mark her Diamond Jubilee, recovered the body of an elderly woman from her flooded house, one of 500 local properties damaged or evacuated.
The tragedy follows drownings in the West Country earlier in three days of downpours and floods which have seen the number of damaged houses top the 1100 mark. Emergency teams remain on duty at Malton and Norton in North Yorkshire, where six pumps are keeping the river Derwent at bay, and in York where the river Ouse is expected to peak on the morning of Wednesday 28 November.
The historic city is used to flooding in streets beside the river, which bisects the walled core, but a complex defence system involving the smaller river Foss holds all but exceptionally high water at bay. Extra sandbags were deployed by the York Flood Group, an emergency command structure convened when the Ouse rises by over four metres for more than a day.