Homes evacuated after flooding

Times Series: A BMW sits in a ditch surrounded and submerged in flood water in North Somerset after heavy rain has affected roads across the South West A BMW sits in a ditch surrounded and submerged in flood water in North Somerset after heavy rain has affected roads across the South West

People have been evacuated from their homes and flooding has caused major disruption to transport after parts of the UK were battered with more heavy rain.

Parts of Yorkshire and the North East experienced more than a month's rain in just 24 hours, leading to rising river levels and surface water flooding.

The Met Office is warning of more downpours to come in northern England and north and west Wales, with 25mm to 50mm (1-2 inches) set to fall in some areas and the Environment Agency has issued 59 flood warnings for rivers and 158 less serious flood alerts.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said rivers in the North were rising quite quickly following the rain that has already fallen. And she said: "We are reminding people not to walk in flood water, and not to drive through flood water because people have to be rescued and it provides a challenge for emergency services who could be deployed elsewhere, and it's very dangerous."

Residents in Morpeth, Northumberland, were being evacuated "as a precaution" as the floodwater rose, while in St Helens around 10 people and a cat and dog had to be rescued in inflatable rafts after their homes flooded.

In Hebden Bridge which has been hit by serious floods twice this summer, people have not been evacuated but waters were rising and the Environment Agency said it had teams and pumps on standby to tackle flooding.

On the roads in the North East, the Highways Agency said, the A1 northbound was closed near Catterick and in Tyne and Wear. Other major roads including the A66 near Darlington and the A19 in Tyne and Wear were also affected.

And there were disruptions on a number of rail lines in northern England, including the East Coast line where train services were suspended for a time between Newcastle and Edinburgh because of the heavy rain before restarting a limited service with major delays.

The Met Office said some areas had received far more rain than they would expect in September since Sunday, with Ravensworth in North Yorkshire receiving 108mm (4.3 inches) compared to the usual total for the month of 47mm (1.9 inches).

The heavy rain is due to a area of low pressure which had moved north across the country from the Bay of Biscay and was now off the north-east coast. Later on Tuesday it would be moving south-west again to the west of Wales, bringing more rain to northern England and Wales, said the Met Office.

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