News > Northern England begins another clear up after flooding
Image Andrew Smith
In what is becoming an increasingly common sight, residents in parts of the UK are dealing with the consequences of torrential rainfall. Clean-up operations are under way after heavy rain caused flooding in towns and villages across northern England, forcing many people out of their homes. Up to 500 properties were flooded in Lancashire and West Yorkshire, after a month's worth of rain fell in 24 hours. Some homes in the Lancashire areas of Croston and Darwen had to be evacuated after nearby rivers burst their banks.
The River Yarrow burst its banks in Croston, flooding more than 70 homes and leaving the village looking like "an island". Jon Lilley, 32, landlord of the Wheatsheaf, told reporters: "The water just kept coming closer and closer. We tried to wedge the doors as best we could but we lost the battle at about 2am and it came through the sandbags. My beer is floating. My plants have floated off down the road."
Some residents criticised the authorities' planning and response to the deluge. Richard Jones, 46, of Town Road, said: "We were expecting flooding throughout the day because of the torrential rain. It seems to me though that the Environment Agency (EA) weren't expecting it and certainly the local council weren't expecting it."
However an EA spokeswoman said the council had been handing out sandbags to residents. The agency also said it worked alongside the emergency services through the night to clear debris, monitor river levels and operate flood defences at numerous locations. Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman earlier described the flooding as dreadful. "The most important thing here is for the government to invest in flood defences. We have over £2bn to be spent on flood defences in the lifetime of this Parliament and it will better protect 150,000 properties" she said.
Five wettest on Friday 22nd May
Blencathra, Cumbria - 93.8mm rainfall (3.6in)
Keswick, Cumbria - 88.6mm (3.4in)
Stonyhurst, Lancs - 74.4mm (2.9in)
Levens Hall, Cumbria - 58.2mm (2.3in)
Morecambe, Lancs - 57mm (2.2in)
Source: Met Office