Resorts hit hardest by torrential rain

(First Edition)

AT LEAST 23 people, including pensioners from an old people's home, were rescued by lifeboat after a third night of torrential rain brought severe flooding to the South-west yesterday, writes Jason Bennetto.

Several minor rivers in north Devon and north Cornwall burst their banks and the Cornish resort of Bude was cut off as 4ft floods swept down its main street when the River Neet burst its banks. The roof of an amusement arcade in the town collapsed under the weight of water but no-one was hurt. Bude inshore lifeboat helped picked up people from flooded homes.

Firemen from Launceston swam 150yd with rescue lines to reach two motorists stranded at Ham Mill, Werrington, and pulled them to safety despite 6ft floods.

The flooding follows three days of rain in which more than 5in have fallen. The National Rivers Authority has issued flood warnings for seven rivers in the South-west.

Relief workers at flood-devastated Llandudno, in north Wales, appealed to day-trippers to stay away from the town at the weekend while mopping up continued. The deluge brought 5in of rain in three hours and flooded more than a thousand properties.

Three died in flooding in eastern parts of Ireland . In Co Meath two people drowned after their car hit a barrel at Duleek and plunged into a river. A boy of 14 died after falling into a deep drain at Baldoyle, Dublin.