Soldiers aid flood relief

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The Army was called in to help with flood relief last night as rain filled rivers to bursting point.

Soldiers helped with sandbagging in the Hexham area of Northumberland after the Tyne overflowed its banks. The National Rivers Authority reported widespread flooding in Cumbria and north Lancashire. Rain in the North was expected to spread to Southern England by today. Red warnings were in force on several rivers in the North as well as the Severn and the Hampshire Avon The London Weather Centre said about twice the average rain fell in parts of the South this month - similar to the wet January of 1988.Up to yesterday morning 141mm of rain had fallen in England and Wales, compared with 154mm seven years ago. The wettest January on record was in 1948, with 178mm The Army said about 30 soldiers from the Scottish Division, based near Hexham, were assisting flood relief operations around the town.Another 200 were on standby.

Floods in Europe, page 12