Britain assesses damage from record deluge

WORKINGTON, England, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- Rain-soaked Britons braced themselves for more downpours Saturday after floodwaters inundated homes, swept away bridges and led to one death, forecasters said.

Residents in the worst-hit area -- Cumbria in northwestern England -- were preparing for more rain following a record-breaking downpour, while Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Environment Minister Hilary Benn arrived in the area, The Daily Telegraph reported.


Benn described Friday's rainfall as a "once in a thousand-year event," as he was told of flood defenses constructed only four years ago being swept away and the resulting waters swamping dozens of homes in towns of Cockermouth and Workington.

Police Constable Bill Barker was killed when on a bridge over the River Derwent in Workington collapsed, The Times of London reported. His body was found hours later on a nearby beach.

Meteorologists said Friday's rainfall was the highest one-day total measured in England since records began. Some 12 inches of rain fell in 24 hours, and flood warnings were still in effect Saturday across the Northwest of England, parts of Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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