Flooding in North and Britain


Torrential downpours have brought flooding to swathes of Northern Ireland, Scotland and northern England, forcing people to leave their homes as more than a month’s worth of rain fell in 24 hours.

The deluges battered revellers at the Isle of Wight Festival and brought havoc to Cumbria.

Up to 100mm of rain hit the region overnight, while south-west Scotland and Lancashire also experienced unusually heavy rainfall.

The Environment Agency issued around 140 flood warnings and alerts in northern regions which are also subject to Met Office severe weather warnings.

Some families spent the night in temporary accommodation after they were evacuated from properties in Lancashire when rivers burst their banks.

They were taken to the nearby Darwen Leisure Centre after fleeing homes in Croston and Darwen, near Chorley, but were expected to return today.

Forecasters said water levels would begin to recede but further showers are expected to slow the clear-up process, meaning some areas will remain swamped.

However, the adverse conditions are set to improve - with the possibility of sunshine for festival-goers tomorrow.

Matt Dobson, senior forecaster at MeteoGroup, said Borrowdale in Cumbria bore the brunt of the bad weather, with an estimated 100mm of rain.

“It has been exceptionally wet overnight across Cumbria,” he said.

(A video shot last night of flooding in the English town of Todmorden, North of Huddersfield last night).

“By the end of the night, it is fair to say that probably 70mm-100mm fell over 24 hours which is a month’s worth of rain. It looks like the worst is probably now over for Cumbria.

“There will still be some showers today and overnight but it is not going to be anywhere near as bad as it has been.

“The worst weather today is going to be across Scotland, where there is likely to be further heavy rain or thunder storms.

But the good news is the Isle of Wight is likely to have a dry day.” Severe weather warnings remain in place in the North West, East and West Midlands, Yorkshire and Humber, Northern Ireland, Strathclyde, south-west and central Scotland, Lothian Borders, and Tayside and Fife, the Met Office said.

The Environment Agency has 92 flood warnings in place across northern England and 47 flood alerts. There are another three flood alerts in both the South West and Wales.

It came after rain brought chaos to parts of the country yesterday, flooding more than 70 homes.

Croston was said to have become an “island” and homes were evacuated as the local authority handed out sandbags and a shelter was set up at the village’s Bishop Rawstorne School.

Localised flashflooding also hit households in Greater Manchester where water was said to be waist height in some areas.

Firefighters were called in to clear floodwater in Wigan, helping three people and a dog away from their properties by boat.

The Olympic torch relay was also hit by the weather with organisers forced to cancel an outdoor event in Blackpool.

The outlook is more promising for the coming days.