70 people rescued from floods after heavy rain and snow hit Britain

Scores of people have been rescued from flooding as heavy rain caused widespread disruption across north west England and North Wales, with large parts of Scotland also braced for snow.

More than 70 people were evacuated from their flood-hit homes in north Lancashire early on Thursday.

Lancashire Constabulary said emergency services, the Environment Agency and Lancaster City Council had received more than 500 flood-related calls and attended more than 100 incidents.

a snow covered street © Provided by The Telegraph

People were urged not to call emergency services unless there was a threat to life as crews continued to respond to a backlog of incidents.

The Met Office said around 1.7in (4.3cm) of rain had fallen in 24 hours in parts of Lancashire, while further north in Cumbria around half a month’s rain, 3.5in (8.9cm), was recorded in 36 hours at Shap.

Rail operator Northern tweeted that flooding had stopped services between Lancaster and Morecambe, Carlisle, Oxenholme and Windermere.

a car parked on the side of a building © Provided by The Telegraph

A southbound stretch of the M6 in south Cumbria was reduced to one lane on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, while North Yorkshire Police said “a number of vehicles” had been recovered from floodwaters in the Yorkshire Dales as the A65 was closed.

In Scotland, wintry showers are forecast to bring 0.7in to 2in (1.8cm-5cm) of snow to many parts of Scotland and up to 7.9in (20cm) on the highest ground, the Met Office said.

North of the border snow was beginning to accumulate on high ground on Thursday morning, with 1.7in (4.3cm) measured on Aviemore and 1.2in (3cm) in Altnaharra.

A yellow “be aware” weather warning for snow kicked in just after midnight for the Scottish Highlands, Western Isles, Grampian, Strathclyde and Central, Tayside and Fife regions.

The warning, which covers the morning rush hour and is valid until 1pm on Thursday, warns that some roads and railways are likely to be affected, with possible longer journey times for road, bus and train services.

Meanwhile, the yellow weather warning of heavy rain was in force for southern Scotland, northern England and Wales until 9am on Thursday.

Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @Bloo_Bel of flooding at Carnforth railway station in Lancashire © PA Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of @Bloo_Bel of flooding at Carnforth railway station in Lancashire

Forecasters warn that spray and flooding on roads will make journey times longer while bus and train services are also likely to be affected.

Strong winds were also forecast south of the border for the early hours of Thursday.

Met Office spokeswoman Nicola Maxey said: “Snow is forecast for northern Scotland and this could potentially affect travel in the area.

“Outside that area snow is not going to be an issue, it’s more likely to be heavy rain.”

Screen grabbed image taken from video shared by Bedwyr Morgan at Welsh Ambulance Service of flooding in Anglesey, North Wales © PA Screen grabbed image taken from video shared by Bedwyr Morgan at Welsh Ambulance Service of flooding in Anglesey, North Wales

In the Highlands rail passengers faced disruption after three landslips following heavy rain forced the cancellation of some services.

Train services from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh and Wick were affected, with the line blocked between the Highland capital and Beauly.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) has issued flood alerts for Dumfries and Galloway and the Borders.

South of the border there are a number of flood warnings in force, mostly in north west England, and dozens more flood alerts.

RAC spokesman Pete Williams said: “We are warning drivers across the UK that high winds will make conditions challenging.

Handout photo from Twitter user Martin A of a car stuck in flood water under a railway bridge in Seaton, Cumbria, following heavy rain on Wednesday. © PA Handout photo from Twitter user Martin A of a car stuck in flood water under a railway bridge in Seaton, Cumbria, following heavy rain on Wednesday.

“The advice is for drivers to slow down and ensure they double the normal recommended two-second distance between their car and the vehicle in front.

“Hold the steering wheel firmly and be prepared to be buffeted by gusts of wind. Drivers in Scotland who travel on roads on high ground and mountain passes should be prepared for snowy conditions.

“It’s wise to pack a ‘winter survival kit’ including a shovel, blanket, additional warm clothing, a torch, a flask with a warm drink and ensure your mobile phone is fully charged and consider letting your friends, family or colleagues know when you expect to arrive.

“It may be worth delaying your journey or taking an alternative route until conditions improve and the snow ploughs have made roads fully passable. Keep tuned to the weather and travel forecasts on local radio.”

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s