Deadly storms batter UK

Two people are killed and hundreds of homes across Britain are flooded as heavy rain and strong winds batter the country and environmental officials warn of more storms to come.

A 21-year-old woman died and two others were injured when a large spruce tree collapsed in Exeter, near the southwestern coast, late on Saturday.

The woman was in a small tent to shelter from the storm when the tree fell on it, police said. She later died at a hospital.

In Somerset, also in the southwest, a man was driving a car when it plunged into a swollen river in a flooded area.

The man was pulled from the water, but he died on the way to the hospital.

The most damage caused by the rains was in southern England, but officials said the situation was stabilising.

In the southwestern rural region of Cornwall, people had to briefly evacuate their homes as flood waters and torrential rain battered villages.

Many communities were cut off after police shut water-logged roads in Cornwall, where four severe flood warnings were issued overnight over rapidly rising river levels.

The Cornish village of Millbrook was reportedly under 1.5m (5 feet) of water with 40 homes evacuated.

Relief promised

In a Twitter message, Prime Minister David Cameron described scenes of floods in Cornwall as "shocking", and promised that his government "will help to ensure everything is being done to help".

In Malmesbury in Wiltshire, western England, pub landlord Tom Hudson said he had water lapping at the door in the worst floods he had seen for 14 years.

"It's gone down a lot but I'm trying to get hold of some sandbags because more rain is forecast for later today," he said.

"Houses across the road have been flooded to a depth of three or four feet, with furniture floating around in the rooms. I've been here 14 years and there were floods in 2000 and again in 2007 but this is much worse than either of those."

Hundreds of highways and roads were closed due to the flooding, and several train services were cancelled.

Weather forecasters and the Environment Agency warned that more persistent rain would continue in the north of England and Scotland on Sunday.