1. ITV Report

North West battered by heavy rain and wind overnight

A driver wades through water at a retail park in Wigan. Photo: Twitter

Parts of the UK have suffered floods and travel chaos after inches of rain fell in just 24 hours, with more downpours and high winds forecast for some areas, including the North West.

The Met Office warned parts of northern England, the Midlands and north and east Wales could see up to 100mm (almost four inches) of rain falling overnight and into this morning.

Some areas could have received their average rainfall for the whole of September in 24 hours, raising the risk of flooding from rivers and surface water.

Cars struggle through water in St Helens following heavy rainfall Credit: Aimmee Guest

The Pennines are likely to receive the heaviest rain, leading to an increased risk of flooding for communities around the rivers Aire and Calder.

Northern Ireland and parts of Scotland are also facing more heavy rain and high winds overnight, the Met Office said.

In England, the Environment Agency has issued more than 20 river flooding warnings for the Midlands, North East, North West and South West and more than 120 less serious flood alerts.

A significant number of flood warnings could be issued over the coming days as the wet weather looks set to persist over the UK until the middle of the week.

The River Ribble bursts it's banks in Preston Credit: Gary Kirkham

The agency is urging people to be prepared for flooding, keep an eye on local weather reports and sign up to its flood warning service.

People are also being urged to stay away from swollen rivers and not to attempt to drive through floodwater.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: "The main area of concern has moved north, and tonight is focusing on North Yorkshire, but we could see impacts in Cheshire, Cumbria, North Wales, Manchester and Northumberland."

Heavy rain overnight and on Monday has led to more than 100 properties flooding, with some 42 properties in the South West, 35 in the Midlands and 20 in the South East hit by surface water floods.

There has been widespread disruption and long delays to rail services in the South West, the Midlands, northern England and Wales, with the lines between Exeter and Bristol, and Wakefield and Leeds among those hit.

Motorists were being warned not to drive through floodwater and take care on low-lying roads which were flooded.

The AA said it had been called out to more than 200 vehicles driven through or stuck in floodwater.

Devon and Somerset Fire Service said it had responded to dozens of reports of flooding, mainly between 6am and 10am on Monday.

The heavy rain and flooding is the latest to hit parts of the UK this year, which saw drought in the spring give way to repeated downpours leading to the wettest April on record and the wettest summer for 100 years.