A HORROR crash has forced a major motorway to close after Storm Babet wreaked havoc.
The M4 is shut in both directions due to a serious crash involving a lorry between J17 and J18 near Bath.
Cops have urged drivers to avoid the area after the shocking incident.
Storm Babet claimed its second victim earlier today after a motorist in a van was hit by a falling tree.
The killer storm continues to wreak havoc across the nation with commuters battling against flooded roads and even sea foam.
Extensive flooding, loss of power and collapsing buildings should all be expected by communities in the area, warns the Met Office.
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Meanwhile, two schools have been forced to close as flooding impacts drivers and railway passengers, with warnings in place.
Dorcan Academy Secondary School in Swindon, Wiltshire, and Naunton Park Primary School in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, closed due to severe weather.
Samuel Ward Academy and Westbourne Academy have also confirmed they will close this afternoon.
Clare Community Primary School, Helmingham Primary School and Nursery, Mendham Primary School and Middelton Community Primary School have taken the decision to shut their doors.
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Otley Primary School, Riverwalk School and Somersham Primary School have also shut for safety reasons.
Meanwhile, Flintshire Council has said 40 schools in the county are closed as Storm Babet brings torrential rain and flooding to the area.
And two schools have closed their doors in Cheshire thanks to the chaotic conditions.
There have been a number of minor crashes on smaller roads, including two on the A419 in Wiltshire.
Dorset and Wiltshire firefighters have attended five flooded properties and completed five vehicle rescues.
Avon Fire and Rescue Service issued a warning to drivers travelling in the rainy weather.
A spokesperson said: "Driving in severe weather can be dangerous. In heavy rain, we encourage you to drive slowly and leave plenty of room between you and the vehicles around you.
"Driving too quickly can cause you difficulty if you need to make an emergency stop, and can also cause dangerous levels of spray for vehicles travelling in the opposite direction."
The storm has also caused transport disruption with passengers hit by flight cancellations.
Ten departures and seven arrivals have already been axed at Aberdeen airport today.
Footage showed a train line at Hooton Station on Wirral deep under water with services suspended.
And rail operators are warning of disruption to travel in Birmingham and Derby.
In Scotland, several major road sections and rail routes are closed, while air passengers are being hit by flight cancellations.
ScotRail said train services remain suspended on several routes in north and north-east Scotland.
National Highways said the A15 Humber Bridge between North Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire is closed in both directions to "high-sided and vulnerable vehicles" due to strong winds.
Flooding forced the closure of the A46 in Leicestershire in both directions between the A606 (near Widmerpool) and A6006 (near Sixhills), and the A52 in Derbyshire eastbound from the B6003 (near Bardhills) to the A6007 (near Bramcote).
Flooding has blocked all railway lines running through Swindon, as well as several routes across northern England, the Midlands and North Wales.
Earlier today, an urgent helicopter search was launched after a man became trapped in his car in floodwater near the Aberdeenshire village of Marykirk.
Reports say the man in his vehicle was swept into the River North Esk with authorities scouring the area.
Brits were earlier warned that the "worst impacts are yet to come" as officials urged people to take care amid the torrential downpours.
The Met Office has issued a slew of weather warnings, including alerts about potentially life threatening amounts of rain and high winds that could cause power outages.
The rare red alert in Scotland for wind and rain covers an area from southern Aberdeenshire and Angus to the outskirts of Dundee and Perth.
Some locations are likely to see between 20-25cm (8 to 10 inches) of rainfall, says the Met Office.
Today, forecasters sent out another rare red weather warning for part of eastern Scotland, indicating a danger to life, due to further torrential rainfall expected on Saturday.
The warning – for "exceptionally heavy and persistent rain" – is in place from midnight on Saturday to 11:59pm on the same day.
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40ft-high waves even destroyed a historic lighthouse in South Shields as the storm continues to batter Britain.
Massive waves were seen crashing against the coast in other areas while howling gusts sweeping in from the Atlantic pose a danger to life.
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