Emergency services launched an evacuation effort yesterday as the north of England was battered by another day of fierce rainstorms. Morpeth in Northumberland was hit by the worst floods the town has seen since the 1960s as riverbanks burst, forcing more than 300 people to leave their homes. Lifeboat teams joined the rescue. Three policemen attending the scene of a landslip near Alnwick had to be rescued themselves after a second slip left them stranded. More than 100 official flood warnings were still in place last night.
Five people have died since torrential rainfall began on Friday evening. In Powys, a 17-year-old girl died after being trapped in an overturned car, while a couple in Plymouth were killed when their car spun off a rain-drenched road. They were named as Becky Hoynes, 30, and Barry Rowe, 28. In Teesside a man died when his motorbike hit branches that had been blown across the A66 near Darlington, and in Stroud, Gloucestershire, a building worker was buried by tons of mud as he dug a ditch.