Hero drags elderly woman from flooded car in Britain

Moment hero drags elderly woman from flooded car as Storm Bronagh blows in with four inches of rain and deadly 60mph gusts that keep thousands across Britain awake through the small hours

  • The man, named as Richard Hamshaw, was filmed breaking a car window in Yorkshire with a rope Thursday 
  • Thousands of motorists were left stranded as Storm Bronagh swept through the UK on Thursday afternoon
  • Met Office has imposed wind warning for most of England and Wales for most of this week up until Friday
  • It comes days after Storm Ali brought 102mph winds and killed two in County Galway and County Armagh
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This is the remarkable moment a civilian carries an elderly lady to safety from her flooded car as torrential rains from Storm Bronagh left thousands of motorists stranded.

The man, named as Richard Hamshaw, can be seen in the clip dragging the woman out of the window of her car and carrying her to safety of drier land.  

Storm Bronagh, which is the second named storm of the season, caused torrential flooding on Wednesday and left hundreds of motorists stuck in their cars.

Mr Hamshaw said of the incident, which took place on a flooded road in Yorkshire, that he was forced to smash the woman’s back window to get her out.  


The man could be seen smashing in the window with a piece of rope as he attempted to get the woman out of the flooded car


Met Office forecasters warned that winds of up to 70mph are set to batter parts of England and Wales on Friday as storm Bronagh intensifies


‘We’ve just seen a car drive straight into water like she didn’t see it coming,’ he said.

‘Then her back end just started floating and we could hear her slapping at the window.

‘So we’ve gone up with the rope and smashed the back window and got her out the back of the car and then just got her out.’

The Met Office has warned of danger to life from flying debris and more heavy rainfall as with the storm expected to peak in the early hours of Friday morning. 

The fierce tempest also caused mayhem overnight with ferocious 60mph winds and four inches of rain which robbed thousands of bemused Britons of a night’s sleep. 

Yellow weather warnings issued by the Met Office on Wednesday are still in place for the whole of England and parts of Wales as gusts of 70mph look set to hit on Thursday.

Storm Bronagh looks set to repeat the carnage wrought by Storm Ali earlier this week – which killed two people and left thousands without power in Scotland and Northern Ireland on Wednesday. 

Met Office forecaster Simon Partridge said there could be gusts of up to 70mph on Friday, adding that it will be the first time this season that south east England will be tested by strong winds.

‘The first storm to reach an area each year usually has some fairly significant impacts because all the things you didn’t realise were diseased or rusted or whatever, that’s the first time you know about it – when the first winds arrive,’ he said. 







An old Volvo braves the bad weather conditions and tries to navigate its way through the flooded road

‘In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes, so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.

‘Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans and motorbikes plenty of space,’ he said. 

Vehicles in Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, were photographed struggling to get through the flooded road on Thursday evening as the horrendous weather gripped the country.

The Met Office issued a rain warning for Wales and North West England until 10pm on Thursday, and a wind warning for most of England and Wales until 9am on Friday morning.

Forecasters warned of possible spray and flooding on roads, delays to bus and train services, power cuts, interruptions to mobile phone services supplies and dangerous conditions on seafronts and coastal routes.

Damage to buildings, including tiles being blown from roofs or through falling trees and branches was a possibility, the Met Office said, and ‘could also bring the chance of injuries and danger to life’. 

The strongest winds are likely to hit the coast of north-east England in the early hours of Friday morning.


Cars tentatively drive through a flooded road during the awful weather in Scunthorpe


Cars have been trying to navigate the road by driving half along the flooded road and also using the embankment as a guide to try and pass through


Commuters were heading home in horrible driving conditions on the M60 during rush hour


A destroyed caravan sits in the sea after falling onto Acton Beach next to a campsite in Claddaghduff, Co Galway


A tree blew over in high winds in Kensington, hitting a block of apartments leaving the brickwork damaged and a window broken


Workers remove a sculpture from the beach in Swansea Bay, Wales


Heavy rain in Liverpool city centre as Storm Bronagh brings more bad weather to the region after Storm Ali wreaked havoc across the UK

Highways England’s head of road safety Richard Leonard said: ‘We’re encouraging drivers to check the latest weather and travel conditions before setting off on journeys.

‘If you do intend to travel, then plan your journey and take extra care, allowing more time for your journey. In high winds, there’s a particular risk to lorries, caravans and motorbikes so we’d advise drivers of these vehicles to slow down.

‘Drivers of other vehicles should be aware of sudden gusts of wind which can affect handling and braking, and give high-sided vehicles, caravans, and motorbikes plenty of space.’ 

Commuters have been told to check their journeys before travelling as speed restrictions have been implemented along certain routes. 

Thursday’s poor weather comes after a Swiss woman who died in a freak accident when her caravan was blown down a ledge to the seashore during Storm Ali on Wednesday was identified as a mother-of-three who was visiting the area.




It is understood that Elvira Ferrari (pictured) had only arrived in Connemara the previous day when she rented a caravan

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    Elvira Ferrari, 56, had only arrived the previous day in Connemara, County Galway, when she got caught up in the violent storm which hit early yesterday morning bringing with it gusts of 102mph.


    Matthew Campbell (pictured), from Belfast, died after he was hit by a tree

    The tourist was one of two people to die in Storm Ali.

    Matthew Campbell, from Belfast, died after he was hit by a tree. The man in his 20s was working on behalf of Northern Ireland Water, and a colleague in his 40s was injured in the incident.

    The men were working for Lagan Construction Limited, on behalf of Northern Ireland Water, when the incident occurred.

    A spokesperson for the firm said: ‘We are deeply saddened to confirm that one of our employees has passed away as a result of their injuries and that another employee has been seriously injured and is currently being treated in hospital.

    ‘Our thoughts and prayers are with the two families at this time.

    ‘We are offering support and counselling services to colleagues and we continue to work closely with the statutory authorities.’

    CEO of NI Water Sara Venning expressed the company’s deepest sympathies to Mr Campbell’s family.

    ‘This was a tragic incident and NI Water will continue to work with the statutory authorities and the contractor as they carry out their investigations,’ she added.

    His former school, the Royal Belfast Academical Institute, have dedicated an award in his honour following his death.  

    Janet Williamson, his former principal, said: ‘When he left school, in 2012, the school established an award for attendance, which as of the 20 September 2018 is renamed ‘The Matthew Campbell Award for Outstanding Attendance’ and will be rewarded each year, in his memory.’  


    The occupants of a mobile home on the site in Claddaghduff spotted the caravan being whisked towards the sea


    The scene where a tree has been blown over in high winds in Kensington, West London, hitting a residential building


    Downpours of torrential autumn rain drenches shoppers as they walk along the street today in Aberystwyth, West Wales


    Trinity Primary School in Edinburgh, where a pupil was injured by a falling tree branch during Storm Ali


    The clean up operation at Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow today, where dozens of trees are down following Storm Ali


    Cars travel through heavy rain on the M5 near Worcester, with up to four inches expected to fall in some areas


    The clean up operation in Glasgow West End after a tree fell onto cars during Storm Ali which hit central Scotland

    Also on Wednesday, a primary school pupil was rushed to hospital after being hit by a tree branch during Storm Ali while enjoying his lunch break in the playground.

    The incident happened at Trinity Primary School in Edinburgh, at 1pm on Wednesday. A cordon was erected in the playground while investigations were carried out.

    In Claddaghduff, it is understood that Ms Ferrari had only arrived in Connemara the previous day when she rented a bike. She then went to Clifden Eco Beach Camping and Caravan Park and rented a caravan.

    Emergency services rushed to the scene at about 7.45am when the occupants of a mobile home on the site – popular with tourists on the Wild Atlantic Way – spotted the caravan being whisked towards the sea. 


    CairnGorm Mountain in the Scottish Highlands, where there has been a dusting of snow

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      The caravan in which Ms Ferrari was sleeping was dislodged from its moorings, although a tent nearby was undisturbed by the storm. The caravan plunged 20ft to 30ft onto the beach and later became submerged.

      What do the Met Office weather warnings say? 

      RAIN WARNING (4am until 10pm today)

      An area of persistent and heavy rain is expected to develop across Wales and northwest England.

      What to expect:

      • Spray and flooding on roads probably making journey times longer
      • Bus and train services probably affected with journey times taking longer
      • Some interruption to power supplies and other services likely
      • Flooding of a few homes and business is likely

      WIND WARNING (6pm today until 9am tomorrow)

      Storm Bronagh brings potential for very strong winds on Thursday evening and overnight into Friday morning.

      What to expect:

      • Some damage to buildings, such as tiles blown from roofs or through falling trees and branches, could happen. Injuries and danger to life from flying debris are possible
      • Road, rail, air and ferry services may be affected, with longer journey times and cancellations possible
      • Some roads and bridges may close
      • Power cuts may occur, with the potential to affect other services, such as mobile phone coverage
      • Injuries and danger to life could occur from large waves and beach material being thrown onto sea fronts, coastal roads and properties

      Members of Clifden Fire Brigade, Gardai and the Cleggan Coast Guard were on the scene quickly but could not save the woman. Her body was discovered on the beach and was taken to hospital for a post mortem examination.

      Speaking from Switzerland, her friend Rolf Weber said: ‘I am deeply shocked. This is just so tragic. I saw her two days before she left for Ireland in August. She was excited about her trip. She was off to learn English. 

      ‘She wanted to travel more. We got a message from her last Sunday, 16th September 2018, saying that she has left for a three-day trip to Clifton [sic] after finishing her English Studies.’

      Her belongings, including a bicycle helmet, were strewn along the beach. Ms Ferrari was a health worker who had done studies into Alzheimer’s disease. She lived in an apartment in Steinmaur, in the canton of Zurich. 

      She departed for Ireland on August 26 for a five-week trip to attend an English language course and go travelling. President Michael D Higgins was among the first to offer his condolences to her family yesterday. 

      The death shocked the remote area of Connemara where substantial damage was caused by Storm Ali to houses, trees and roads. More than 15,000 houses were without power in County Galway, with dozens of schools closed.

      News of the tragedy spread quickly throughout the area and Claddaghduff curate Fr Sean Smith said people were shocked and saddened.

      ‘It is so tragic that a visitor to the community should lose her life in this way. I send my condolences to her family,’ he said. Fr Smith said there was considerable damage caused in the locality by the storm.

      ‘We had so much damage here throughout the area in the early hours of the morning, and it was definitely worse than Storm Ophelia last year,’ he added.   

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          High winds caused a tree to fall onto the top of a Dundee University vehicle in Kincaple, near Guardbridge, Fife, yesterday


          Storm Ali batters the town of Saltcoats in Ayrshire as high winds and rain swept through Scotland


          A windsurfer makes the most of the weather as Storm Ali hit Northern Ireland causing very high wind gusts


          A tug sits alongside the cruise liner Nautica to help stabilise it as the vessel sits in water off Greenock in Scotland

          Sky and O2 phone outage

          Sky and O2 mobile phone customers have faced outages due to the stormy weather.

          Sky said customers in Northern Ireland, East Central Scotland and North East England could be affected.

          As for O2, some of its customers in Northern Ireland and Scotland may be facing service outages.

          Sky tweeted: ‘We’re aware that Sky Mobile customers in some parts of Northern Ireland, East Central Scotland and North East England may be unable to use their services Storm Ali has caused power outages across these areas and has affected several towers.’

          In the Highlands a man had to be rescued after becoming trapped under a digger in a river in the village of Rogart. Storm Ali, which brought winds of 102.2mph on the Tay Road Bridge in Dundee, cleared the UK on Wednesday night.

          A yellow weather warning for rain across Wales and the north of England was in place for most of Thursday, while a warning for winds of up to 65mph kicks in from 6pm across much of the rest of England.

          Met Office meteorologist Laura Paterson said: ‘Through Thursday another area of low pressure will develop and approach the UK from the south west, bringing rain and a second spell of strong winds later.’

          Up to 4in (100mm) of rain is forecast to fall across high ground in Wales and Cumbria. The unsettled weather is due to last the rest of the week and is caused by a jet stream from Canada, the Met Office said. 

          The earth moves! Garden appears to ‘breathe’ as paving slabs rise and fall before gust of wind finally uproots tree during Storm Ali

          By CLAIRE ANDERSON FOR MAILONLINE 

          This is the shocking moment Storm Ali crept underneath a grassy front garden and uprooted a huge tree in Scotland.

          Liz Reid filmed as her garden path and surrounding grass regularly lifted and fell as the wind ‘breathed’ underneath. 

          The weird effect was caused by the roots of a nearby tree straining against the storm. 

          Eventually Storm Ali proves too much and the tree topples is thrown to the ground, destroying a neighbours fence in the process. 

          Filmed in Drongan, Ayr, the clip begins with the garden slabs visibly moving up and down as the tree in the left hand corner looks like its about to give way.

          Towards the end, laughter can be heard among the strong gale winds as the homeowners seem to realise what’s about to happen. 

          Liz filmed the footage and posted it on to Facebook with the caption: ‘Aaaaaand … it’s gone.’

          She posted the action as two seperate videos with both having a combined total of more than 134,000 views.

          Her post has almost 700 shares and multiple comments from stunned Facebook users. 




          Storm Ali winds uproots a tree in Scotland as it crashes into a neighbours fence

          Linda Hendry said: ‘Omg Liz, glad you weren’t going down the path at the time.’

          Louise McLean commented: ‘Holy S***.’

          Christine Brennan said: ‘That is scary Liz.’

          One viewer also spotted out how the tree looked like it was alive and said: ‘Looks like the tree breathing with grass rising!’

          Speaking today, Liz said that she had just come in, moments before the slabs began to start moving in the air.

          She said: ‘Just couldn’t believe it my husband had just went along the street to collect our wheelie bin and noticed it when he came back which had blown to other end of the street.’ 

           

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