Homes evacuated, cars submerged in rare Christmas flooding
Homes were evacuated, cars were submerged and boats were brought in to help take people to safety yesterday as parts of England, Scotland and Wales faced severe flooding caused by repeated heavy rains.
The Boxing Day holiday saw a battle against the elements, particularly in north-western England. More than 30 "severe" flood warnings were issued each one meaning people faced possible loss of life if they did not exercise extreme caution.
In the county of Lancashire, some 220 miles (350 kilometres) north-west of London, emergency workers backed by the military buttressed defences with extra sandbags and heavy trucks brought in rescue equipment able to drive through waters too high to safely traverse on foot.
Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes after water breached flood barriers and poured into the streets.
Beleaguered residents in some towns were told to abandon their homes for higher ground while others were told to move their valuables, and listen to advice from emergency services about possible evacuation.