Fears of first Storm Christoph victim as body spotted in flooded river

The first death from Storm Christoph is feared after a body was spotted in a flooded river.

South Wales Police say they received a call shortly after 9am this morning from a member of the public alerting them to what appears to be a body in the river near Cardiff Castle.

The force said: “Shortly after 9.00am this morning, a call was received from a member of the public concerning the discovery of what appears to be a body in the River Taff below Blackweir, Cardiff. A cordon has been put in place while emergency services attend the scene.”

An eye-witness posted on Twitter that there were several police in attendance as well as the South Wales Fire and Rescue as well as the ambulance service.

Specially trained officers have been entering the river this morning.

There is a heavy police presence near the Ambulance Service centre on North Road.

A spokesperson for South Wales Fire and Rescue said: “At approximately 9.46am on Thursday 21st January 2021 we received reports of an incident near North Road in Cathays, Cardiff.

“Two crews attended the scene and worked in support of South Wales Police.

“A stop message was received at 12.16pm.”

Police have cordoned off both sides of the river near Blackweir bridge as investigations continue.

An eyewitness at the scene said it appears as though police are entering the water from the Blackweir Fields side of the river.

River levels across Wales have been rising heavily overnight and there are two severe flood warnings, 29 flood warnings and 36 flood alerts in place for the country.

North Wales Police said its officers were helping the fire service to evacuate homes in Ruthin, Denbighshire, and urged people to avoid the area.

The force tweeted: “Officers have been called to assist @DenbighshireCC and @NWFRS in Ruthin, where some homes are being evacuated.

“Regrettably, people who do not live locally are driving to the area to ‘see the floods’. Please do not stretch our resources by adding to the problem.”

The force also urged residents of Bangor on Dee and head to Ysgol Sant Dunawd for shelter after the severe flood warning was issued for Bangor on Dee.

Wrexham Council said it was “working with partners to address any need for temporary rest centres for residents likely to be affected”.

Almost the whole of England, Wales and Northern Ireland are subject to yellow weather warnings for rain until Thursday morning, with a more serious amber warning stretching from the East Midlands to the Lake District.