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Massive clean-up operation underway after floodwaters rip through homes in North Yorkshire

Rural communities in North Yorkshire are struggling to deal with the aftermath of flooding. Credit: PA/ITV News

A massive clean-up operation is underway in parts of North Yorkshire after raging floodwaters ripped through homes and businesses.

In the space of a couple of hours, rivers around the rural towns of Reeth, Leyburn and Swaledale, and others in the Dales swelled alarmingly sending torrents crashing through the communities.

People have told ITV News how they battled in vain to save as much as they could.

And now some have even called for the army to be called in to help with the clean-up.

Farmer Ronnie Bailey said the flood waters rose disturbingly quickly, and within half an hour, water was rushing through his farm house and outbuildings.

"It's devastated, absolutely devastated - our home, our business. There isn't words to describe it, it's soul destroying... absolutely soul destroying."

Meanwhile, David Atkinson, who runs a holiday cottage letting business, described how a one-metre high wave swept through houses, washing away conservatories.

He told ITV News: "It's never been as bad as this since Hurricane Charlie in the 1980s.

"It was like Niagara Falls."

Rowena Hutchinson, 75, has told how she nearly drowned when her pub was filled with 5ft-high water during flooding in North Yorkshire.

She said her home, the Red Lion Inn in Langthwaite, Richmond, has been ruined by the torrential downpour on Tuesday night.

Rowena Hutchinson said she thought she was going to drown. Credit: PA

Ms Hutchinson said water came gushing into the pub “like a waterfall”, leaving her submerged up to her chin.

And Denise, who owns a number of donkeys, said she had been up all night mopping her carpets after she returned home to find it under a foot of water.

More weather warnings have been issued in parts of England and Scotland after around a month's worth of rain fell in just one day on Tuesday.

Forecasters said 50mm of rain fell in parts of the north-west and hail stones the size of small sweets in Yorkshire, where a bridge collapsed during flash floods.

The Met Office is now warning storms could dump up to 40mm of rain in two hours in places - the average rainfall in parts of North Yorkshire is around 50mm for the entire month of July.

The villages of Reeth, Grinton and Leyburn all suffered - while Masham was hit with jumbo hailstones. Credit: ITV News

A yellow weather warning for rain has been issued for parts of central and northern England, while a similar alert for thunderstorms is in place in Scotland.

There are ten flood warnings in place across the UK – from North Yorkshire, Lancashire and the West Midlands – with the Environment Agency saying local flooding was possible due to the thunderstorms and outbreaks of heavy rain.

The situation is so dire, some have even called for the army to come to their aid.

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And, members of the 2nd Battalion Yorkshire Regiment were later mobilised to Grinton to help with the clean up and repairs.

Soldiers from 2 Yorks arrive in Grinton to help out with flood damage. Credit: PA

The Met Office also warned there was more rain to come.

“During the day rain may turn more showery in places but with a higher chance of thunderstorms by afternoon," it said.

“Some parts of northern England could see as much as 40-60mm of rain through Wednesday, while thunderstorms could produce as much as 30-40 mm in 1-2 hours.”

Malham Tarn in the Yorkshire Dales had 82.2mm of rain in 24 hours, the majority in the space of four hours.

The monthly average in the area for this time of year is 89mm.

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Hailstones the "size of small sweets" battered parts of Yorkshire on Tuesday, as thunderstorms and torrential rain swept across the UK.

Dramatic footage showing hailstones hammering down on the streets of Ripon has been captured by surprised residents.

"It is very unusual..the people of Ripon have described it as being the worst hailstorm they've seen in living memory, which carpeted the streets and pavements, with hailstorms probably the size of small sweets," news editor at Minister FM, David Dunning told ITV News.

Vehicles could be seen trying to navigate the streets as huge hailstones fall from the sky.

A belt of hail, rain and thunderstorms is moving across northern England, Mr Dunning said.

Coastguard teams rescued a man and woman clinging to a cliff “by their fingernails” after they were trapped by the tide.

The man and woman were spotted clinging to a cliff by a member of the public. Credit: PA

The pair were stranded 100ft up Filey Brigg, a peninsula in North Yorkshire, as they tried to climb the cliff to escape the tide, which cut them off as they walked the beach, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.