UK

Flooding In Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire As Devastation Sweeps North Of England

26/12/2015 12:29 GMT | Updated 27/12/2015 14:59 GMT

Devastation hit the North of England this morning as a second red weather flood warning was issued by the Met Office.

Cars and shops have been submerged by the rising tides in the Yorkshire town of Hebden Bridge, the morning after families celebrated Christmas Day.

Homeowners and residents took to Twitter to share pictures of the devastation in the village:

Elsewhere Todmorden in West Yorkshire has also been hit and the waters are continuing to rise as the rain keeps falling.

Resident Lee Fraser, who lives on Halifax Road, said the road between the town and the neighbouring village of Hebden is submerged.

"It's getting worse and worse, it's been raining really heavily since last night," he added.

"The siren went off at about 7am this morning and 10 minutes later everything started flooding.

"A lot of people are moving their stuff upstairs in their houses and the police came and closed the roads.

"It's absolutely tipping it down, so it's only going to get worse by the look of it."

Meanwhile residents in Whalley and Ribchester in Lancashire have been told to abandon their houses as flood waters poured through the streets after torrential downpours.

Forecasters said up to 4.7ins (120mm) of rain could fall in some areas already saturated by wave after wave of winter squalls. The average rainfall for the whole of December in the North West is 5.7ins (145mm).

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service warned people to stay away from the Whalley and Ribchester areas.

"A severe flood warning means danger to life. It doesn't mean 'come and have a look'. Please don't come to visit Whalley or Ribchester now," the service said in a tweet.

Lancashire Fire also posted details of an emergency evacuation centre for evacuated residents.

Floods Minister Rory Stewart said that rainfall levels in the flood-hit areas were unprecedented.

"We're looking potentially again today at maybe a month's rainfall coming in a day. That's falling on ground that's very saturated. As the rain falls, the rivers respond very quickly," he told the BBC Radio 4 Today programme.

In the Outer Hebrides, CalMac ferry sailings were cancelled for the day in North Uist and South Uist. Services have also been affected on Bute and the Isle of Lewis.

Lancashire has been hit by the downpours that were forecast to fall in Cumbria, Lancashire Police said.

"Lancashire is experiencing the rainfall expected to fall in Cumbria and a further 50mm to 80 mm may fall in the next six to nine hours," the force tweeted.

"The band of rain currently over Lancashire is expected to move northwards in the afternoon before returning in the early to mid-evening."