- Cumbria drenched in four inches of rain overnight
- South-west Scotland, Northern Ireland and Lancashire also experiences unusually heavy rainfall
- Environment Agency issues 140 flood warnings and alerts in northern regions
- Families in Lancashire spend the night in temporary accommodation after they were evacuated from homes when River Darwen became one of several rivers to burst their banks
- Further rain forecast to hit Britain today and tomorrow morning before sunshine breaks through the clouds
By Graham Smith
PUBLISHED: 03:44 EST, 23 June 2012 | UPDATED: 07:08 EST, 23 June 2012
Torrential downpours have brought flooding to swathes of northern England, forcing people to leave their homes as more than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours.
The deluges have brought havoc to Cumbria which buckled under the worst of the wet weather.
Up to four inches of rain hit the region overnight, while south-west Scotland, Northern Ireland and Lancashire also experienced unusually heavy rainfall.
The Environment Agency said people should remain vigilant and warned of further rain throughout today and into Sunday in areas of northern England already counting the cost of what it said was 'exceptional rainfall and record river levels'.
Waterworld: Floodwaters surround shops in Mytholmroyd near Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, after torrential downpours brought flooding to swathes of northern England
Flooding: Residents in the nearby market town of Hebden, West Yorkshire, were also forced to leave their homes as more than a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours
Floodwaters surround local shops in the centre of Hebden Bridge. The adverse conditions are set to improve - with the possibility of sunshine on Sunday
There are 95 areas under a flood warning, where rivers are expected to burst their banks, with a further 51 on alert for possible flooding as defences in areas including Preston, Wigan, Catterall and Garstang were used to stop the rising water.
As much as four inches of rain fell on the region overnight, while south-west Scotland, Northern Ireland and Lancashire also experienced unusually heavy rainfall.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: 'A month's rain has fallen over parts of north-west and north-east England in the last 24 hours and with further rain expected later today, we would urge the public to remain vigilant and sign up to Environment Agency flood warnings.
'We also urge the public to stay away from fast-flowing, swollen rivers and not to drive through floodwater.'
The outlook for the coming days is more promising. A band of wet weather is expected to sweep the country from west to east tonight. Forecasts suggest it will pass relatively quickly, meaning no one place should see more than five hours of rain.
Amounts of between 0.4inches to 0.6inches are expected to fall quite widely before clearing in many areas tomorrow, with much of the country expected to see a dry day on Monday.
People flooded out of their homes should be able to recoup the cost of temporary accommodation from their insurer, according to the Association of British Insurers.
Nick Starling, ABI's director of general insurance, said: 'Unwelcome events like this are exactly why people take out insurance, and insurers will very quickly be mobilising claims staff to get claims moving and to help relieve the trauma that those flooded are facing.'
Battling against the elements: Two people in Mytholmroyd try to go about their daily business
Analysing the debris in Mytholmroyd: The Environment Agency has issued 140 flood warnings and alerts in northern regions which are also subject to Met Office severe weather warnings
Hebden Bridge: Forecasters said water levels would begin to recede but further showers are expected to slow the clear-up process
GREAT NORTH SWIM POSTPONED
The Great North Swim in Cumbria has been postponed due to strong winds and heavy rain.
Around 900 people were set to take part in the two-mile swim yesterday.
This event has now been moved to Sunday, weather permitting, organisers said.
A one-mile event due to take place today has also been cancelled.
A statement on the event website said the decision was taken by the independent event planning group, as the weather forecast for today predicts strong gusting winds.
'Strong winds affect the ability of the safety kayakers to operate and also may make swimming conditions extremely challenging,' the statement read.
All participants will be offered a full refund of their event entry.
Forecasters said water levels would begin to recede but further showers are expected to slow the clear-up process, meaning some areas will remain swamped.
The bad weather is set to improve, with the possibility of sunshine on Sunday.
Matt Dobson, senior forecaster at MeteoGroup, said Borrowdale in Cumbria bore the brunt of the bad weather with an estimated four inches of rain.
He said: 'It has been exceptionally wet overnight across Cumbria.
'By the end of the night, it is fair to say that probably 2.72 inches to four inches fell over 24 hours which is a month's worth of rain. It looks like the worst is probably now over for Cumbria.
'There will still be some showers today and overnight but it is not going to be anywhere near as bad as it has been.
'The worst weather today is going to be across Scotland where there is likely to be further heavy rain or thunder storms. But the good news is the Isle of Wight is likely to have a dry day.'
Met Office severe weather warnings are in place in the North-West, Yorkshire and Humber, West Midlands, the South-West, Northern Ireland, Strathclyde, south-west and central Scotland, the Lothians, the Scottish Borders, Tayside and Fife.
The Met Office said the wettest places in the country yesterday were all in Cumbria, Lancashire and West Yorkshire.
Blencathra in Cumbria - 3.6inhes - was the worst affected, followed by Keswick (3.4inches), Stonyhurst in Lancashire (2.9inches), Levens Hall in Cumbria (2.3inches) and Morecambe on the Lancashire coast (2.2inches).
Excess water: The torrential rain also brought flooding to the centre of Manchester today
A car lies deluged in water in Darwen, Lancashire: Some families spent the night in temporary accommodation after they were evacuated from properties in the county when rivers burst their banks
Incoming: Rain is set to fall across Britain later today and tomorrow morning. The map on the left is a forecast for 2pm, while that on the right shows rainfall at 7pm
Overnight: Rain is due to cover much of Britain at 10pm tonight (left) while torrential conditions cover the UK tomorrow morning at 4am (right)
Some families spent the night in temporary accommodation after they were evacuated from properties in Lancashire when rivers burst their banks.
A concert tonight by singer and Doctor Who actor John Barrowman at the new Tower Festival Headland venue in Blackpool has been cancelled on health and safety grounds, a spokesman said.
Severe flooding also hit areas of West Yorkshire overnight, especially in the Calderdale area.
The centres of the towns of Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd were inundated and Todmorden was also badly affected, firefighters said.
Overnight, the River Calder at Hebden Bridge measured a record 3.2metres.
At one point yesterday evening West Yorkshire Fire Service issued a message saying it could only respond to incidents in which life was in danger due to the amount of calls.
Poor driving conditions: Heavy rain falls on the M6 near Northwich, Cheshire, yesterday
Wet conditions: To celebrate Sky Ride Local rides taking place in Preston throughout the summer, TV presenter Gethin Jones (centre) got on his bike with local residents
Umbrellas for sale: Business was no doubt brisk for Stephen Evans in Manchester city centre yesterday
Mud bath: The conditions weren't much better in the south, as an estimated 55,000 festival-goers head to the three-day Isle Of Wight rock festival
Further north, firefighters in the Yorkshire Dales had to rescue people from cars trapped by flash flooding.
Councillor Simon Young said the River Calder burst its banks at about 9pm last night in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire.
He said: 'It was really a pretty devastating picture.
'Countless homes and businesses were under water in the centre of Mytholmroyd.
'I've spoken to a lot of people, a lot of whom have lived in the area for years, and they cannot remember anything like this in the last 24 years.'
An 80-year-old pensioner was hospitalised yesterday with serious injuries following a collision in heavy rain on the A6112 between Preston and Duns in the Scottish Borders at around 2.15pm.
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