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High winds bring more misery to England and Wales

Feb. 12, 2014 at 11:03 PM

LONDON, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Winds as high as 112 mph were recorded Wednesday in Britain as another winter storm brought more misery to areas already devastated by floods.

An elderly man was found dead near Calne in Wiltshire, the Daily Mirror reported. Police said he appeared to have been electrocuted while trying to move a fallen tree.

The Meteorological Office issued its first Red Alert in more than a year because of the wind. The alert expired at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

Wind gusts of more than 100 mph were reported in much of the country, the BBC said. The highest recorded was 112 mph on Great Dun Fell in Cumbria in northern England, the second-highest point in the Pennine range.

Much of the Thames Valley was under flood alerts and warnings, the BBC reported. Flooding was also a problem along the River Itchen, which flows through the ancient capital of Winchester in Hampshire to Southampton Water.

Also in Hampshire, a 2-year-old girl was rescued by firefighters after she was trapped in the family car by a fallen tree near Southampton.

About 115,000 homes and businesses were without electrical power Wednesday evening in England and Wales, the BBC said.

Roads were closed around the country because of flooding and downed trees.

The weather brought rail travel to a near standstill. Passengers on an express from London to Edinburgh were stranded for several hours on the Yorkshire moors by an electrical problem.

At Crewe, a major junction on the West Coast Main Line, roof panels fell on electrical lines, causing a fire that prevented trains from reaching the station. About 500 passengers were evacuated and taken to a hotel.

Virgin Trains simply advised passengers not to travel.

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