Floods force hundreds from homes
Hundreds of people are facing a night in temporary accommodation after a second day of heavy rain brought flooding and travel chaos to parts of the UK.
More than 300 properties have flooded across the country since Sunday, including in Morpeth, Durham, Chester-le-Street and Stockton on Tees, the Environment Agency said.
Elderly residents at a council care home in North Yorkshire had to be carried to safety by firefighters after it became swamped by 3ft of water. And a modern block of flats had to be evacuated in Newburn, Newcastle, after its foundations appeared to have been washed away. Meanwhile, roads and railways ground to a halt because of the rain and flooding, with the A1 and the East Coast Main Line among the routes hit by the conditions.
The Met Office said an area of low pressure measuring 973 millibars had been recorded near the coast of the north east of England - the lowest in the UK for September since 1981.
Some areas have seen more than a month's rainfall in 24 hours as downpours and strong winds battered parts of Wales, northern England and Scotland. Parts of north Wales and northern England were expected to get 25mm to 50mm (1in to 2in) of rain during the day.
MeteoGroup, the weather division of the Press Association, said Ravensworth in North Yorkshire had seen the highest amount of rain, with 123mm recorded since the start of the heavy downpours on Sunday night. Some 93mm of rain had fallen in Leeming, North Yorkshire, which is almost double the average rainfall for the village in September (50mm). Rhyl, north Wales, had recorded 93mm of rain since Sunday, while Northern Ireland has also seen heavy downpours.
The Met Office said many places have had between 50mm and 70mm (2in to 2.8in) in the past 48 hours. And heavy rain and strong winds are forecast to return to some southern areas with 20mm to 40mm (0.8in to 1.6in) likely in places.
The Environment Agency had issued 83 flood warnings for potential river flooding tonight, and 139 less serious flood alerts.
The agency warned that river levels will continue to rise through Wednesday along the River Ouse in Yorkshire and the River Severn, which could cause further flooding as the water moves downstream. Communities in Yorkshire, the North West and north Wales were urged to remain on their guard for further floods.
Flooding minister Richard Benyon said: "Right now we need to let the Environment Agency and emergency services get on with their jobs and I'd like to thank them for the tireless work they are doing to keep people safe and reduce the risk of further flooding. It's vitally important that people don't take dangerous risks at this time. Signing up for the Environment Agency's flood alert service will give people the very latest news on the risk to their area."
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