Clean up underway as flooding creates travel chaos

Flooding across the UK Credit: Twitter/Poynton Fire Station/Jacob King/PA

Homes have been evacuated, stranded people rescued, trains cancelled and roads flooded as the effects of persistent, heavy rain continue across the UK.

Some 17 flood warnings remain in place across England - meaning immediate action is required - and people have been advised to be prepared via 27 flood alerts.

Early on Thursday morning, all trains on the lines between Manchester Airport and Wilmslow were disrupted due to flooding on the lines.

It was hoped disruptions would end by around 8.30am.

As the clean up across the country gets underway following several days of heavy rain in some parts, Thursday is set to see much less rain and more sunshine, but scattered showers are still forecast across the country.

The flooded A555 in Handforth, Greater Manchester. Credit: Jacob King/PA

On Wednesday, multiple flood warnings and alerts covering central, north-west and north-east England were put out by the Environment Agency due to the heavy rain.

Later in the day, a major incident was declared in Poynton, Cheshire, due to “severe flooding” as streets were filled with raging water.

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) said firefighters, emergency services personnel and staff from Highways England were helping those affected, with a rest centre established at Poynton Civic Hall.

Poynton Fire Station said its crews had attended more than 20 incidents, including rescuing at least 11 people from floodwater in the area during a four-hour period.

A firefighter helps a child in Poynton. Credit: Twitter/Poynton Fire Station

Police in nearby Wilmslow also said officers were "dealing with flooding" and had evacuated affected residents, with Oakenclough Children's Centre open as a rest centre.

Also on Wednesday, floodwaters ripped through homes and businesses in North Yorkshire.

Heavy rainfall brought fresh flooding and rivers around the rural towns of Reeth, Leyburn and others in the Dales swelled alarmingly sending torrents crashing through the communities.

  • ITV News Correspondent Damon Green reports on Wednesday's flooding

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.

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

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

The water came gushing into the pub “like a waterfall”, leaving her submerged up to her chin, she added.

She said: "It’s completely smashed doors off, and a wall has gone. The speed and force of the water was unbelievable, it’s just tossed the doors all over the place."

Forecasters at the Met Office also issued an all-day yellow warning of heavy rain and thunderstorms, covering a large swathe of England northwards from Manchester, Sheffield and Lincoln.

At High Mowthorpe in North Yorkshire, a total of 40.2mm fell in the 12 hours up to 2pm.

The Army was drafted in to help with clean-up efforts after storms left scores of homes and businesses flooded and roads and bridges washed away.

Soldiers from 2 Yorks arrived in Grinton, North Yorkshire, after parts of the region had up to 82.2mm of rain in 24 hours on Tuesday.

A soldier from 2 Yorks stacks sand bags in Grinton, North Yorkshire Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

As of 5pm on Wednesday, the Environment Agency had issued 14 flood warnings, which advised immediate action due to expected flooding across parts of Cheshire, Derbyshire, Greater Manchester and Leicestershire.

A further 25 flood alerts were issued across central, north-west and north-east England warning residents to be prepared for possible flooding.

A bridge in the Yorkshire Dales. Credit: PA

Rescuers reported seeing sheds and oil tanks floating down roads as "100 or more" homes in the Yorkshire Dales were deluged on Tuesday.

The fire service received around 115 calls to flooding incidents, while pictures and videos from the village of Cogden Gill showed a bridge used in the 2014 Tour de France in ruins.

The Ard Rock mountain bike event due to take place in Reeth at the weekend was cancelled by organisers.

Earlier on Wednesday, Network Rail said it was working to remove debris from a landslip near Beeston Castle in Cheshire.

Workers remove debris from the line near Beeston Castle. Credit: Network Rail/Frank Vincini/PA

Heavy rain that flooded the railway in locations between Sheffield and Stockport resulted in some lines being blocked, with disruption expected to last until 7pm.

Met Office forecaster Helen Roberts said parts of England had been hit by "a significant amount of rainfall in one day".

She added: "The heavy showers will continue for a good few hours yet across the northern half of the UK."

Ms Roberts said showers are expected to ease by the end of Wednesday, leading into a dry night.

Further showers are due on Thursday but they are not expected to be as heavy.