Wet weather misery sweeps UK

A young Christmas shopper looks at flood water in York city centre as heavy rain continues to cause problems across the UK. Credit: PA

Extreme weather conditions have put a dampener on Christmas preparations for many, as the Environment Agency announced floods are expected in more than 150 areas across the UK.

Heavy rain in the southwest led the agency to issue six severe flood warnings - where there is a danger to life - in Cornwall and Devon.

Braunton, in north Devon, where two of the severe flood warnings were issued, saw homes and businesses deluged by rain after the River Caen burst its banks.

A £1.2 million defence scheme completed in the town in June was meant to ensure that the chance of flooding was reduced from one in 20 in any one year to one in 100.

ITV News' Martha Fairlie reports.

Pub landlord Mark Ridge, 37, took on the London Inn seven months ago with his wife and two children, spending £90,000 renovating it. He said the flood has been devastating for his family.

Residents of Helston, Cornwall, were briefly evacuated from their homes while Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service pumped out flood water.

The Environment Agency said there was a heightened flood risk across Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Bristol, Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, West and East Sussex, North Yorkshire, South Wales, Ceredigion and Gwynedd.

The centre of York has flooded following heavy rain. Credit: ITV News

Villagers in Rolleston, Nottinghamshire, were forced to create their own flood defences by building a clay bank outside their homes and roads in York were closed as flood water covered the city centre.

In Scotland, 17 flood warnings - mostly in Tayside - and 15 flood warnings were issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

Read how weather has disrupted the travel network across the UK.