Storm Frank is bringing yet more flooding misery to the UK today with torrential rain and gale-force winds, as residents in one Lancashire village are urged to flee their homes immediately while authorities battle to rebuild damaged defences.
Three severe flood warnings judged to pose a “danger to life” are in place along the River Yarrow in Croston.
The village has already been hit by flooding and power cuts over Christmas but the Environment Agency (EA) warned that defences had been breached and told people living in threatened areas to leave their homes.
An RAF Chinook helicopter has been sent to take one tonne of sandbags for repairs as soldiers helped reinforce the bank.
RAF CH47 Chinook lifting sandbags to breach in River defences at River Douglas, Croston, Lancs. https://t.co/ttde1fLr6N— Army Press Office NW (@armypressnw) December 29, 2015
Flooding is also expected in 46 areas where less severe warnings are still in place, mainly in Yorkshire and Cumbria.
While levels along the Ouse and Foss are falling in York, they are still several metres higher than average and could rise once more.
Warnings are in place along the Ouse, Aire, Derwent and Swale rivers, as well as in Keswick in Cumbria, Lyme Regis and Tewkesbury in the south-west, Chester, and the Dee Valley in Wales.
The EA also has 85 less serious flood alerts in place, mainly in western parts of England, Wales and Scotland where Storm Frank moved in overnight.
Video: Environment Agency flood chairman heads to the north
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency had issued 60 flood warnings and 14 alerts on Wednesday, although there were fears that number would rise throughout the day.
Large parts of the country are affected, from Aberdeenshire, Moray and Speyside to the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway, and more than 5,000 homes were also left without power by gales.
Lisa Pinney of the EA said river levels had been falling but the renewed rainfall increased the risk of fresh flooding in waterlogged areas like Cumbria, Lancashire and Yorkshire.
She added that persistent rainfall in Wales meant there was also now a chance of flooding in the west and south west of England.
In Pictures: Floods hit the UK
In Pictures: Floods hit the UK
1/17 Floods hit the UK
Members of Cleveland Mountain Rescue and soldiers from 2 Battalion The Duke of Lancasters Regiment evacuating people from the Queens Hotel in York city centre as the River Ouse floods on December 27, 2015
2/17 Floods hit the UK
Teams in Whalley evacuate villagers from their homes
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A resident of Glenridding, which flooded for the third time this month, surveys the damage
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The River Ouse, York, has burst its banks
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A soldier from the 2nd Battalion, Duke of Lancaster’s regiment helps to sure up flood defences in Appleby, Cumbria, one of the areas worst affected by the floods
6/17 Floods hit the UK
Experts believe the cost of clearing up the most recent flooding could exceed £50m (PA)
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Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in York
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A police helicopter photographed the extent of the flooding in York on 27 December.
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Flooding at Clifford's Tower in York on 27 December
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Flooding along York's Inner Ring Road on 27 December
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Water runs out of the Lowther pub in York on 27 December after the River Ouse bursts its banks in York city centre.
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Flooded streets in Dumfries, Scotland on 30 December
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A car left submerged in floodwater in Newton Stewart, Scotland
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Staff at the Worlds End bar in Dumfries Scotland desperately try to pump floodwater out of the building
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A man stands in the doorway of his cottage in the flooded town of Straiton in Scotland
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Flooding in the village of Aberfeldy, Perthshire, Scotland
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Man wades through floodwater outside a fish and chip shop in Dumfries, Scotland
Ms Pinney, a flood manager, said: “Overnight we've had some rain but more wind.
"We're expecting more rain today and into the late afternoon, so we're encouraging people to be aware.
"Based on the forecast we've had, we're not expecting to see scenes like we've had over the past few days and not see flood defence over-topping, for example.
"But we're aware the ground across the north of England is absolutely saturated. We're not complacent."
Sir Philip Dilley, chairman of the agency, was due to visit flooding victims today after he returned from a Christmas holiday to Barbados amid criticism at the timing of his break during some of the worst storms in decades.
Additional reporting by PA