Published On: Thu, Nov 23rd, 2017

UK weather warning LIVE: Mass evacuations as MAJOR floods hit – more rain and snow to come

Lancashire City Council were forced to open crisis centres for flood-stricken residents after 500 calls were made to the emergency services.

The region’s Fire and Rescue department attended 109 incidents overnight – and rescued more than 70 people.

But experts have warned more chaos could be on the way – with swathes of weather warnings being issued across the UK by the Met Office.

Half a month’s worth of rain fell over the course of 36 hours in some parts of the country, while high speed winds lashed the country.

A Lancashire Fire and Rescue spokesperson said: “The majority of these incidents have not involved a life risk but where there have been residents and animals at risk, our crews have attended and helped out.

“Some of the more serious incidents have included helping move vulnerable people out of their homes, moving animals that have been trapped and pumping water out of houses where the flood water was affecting the electricity.”

More than 20 horses, a cat and a dog were also evacuated as severe weather assaults Britain.

As much as 20cm of snow has fallen in some parts of Scotland, with warnings being issued to the Western Isles, Grampian, Strathclyde and Central, Tayside and Fife regions.

The Met Office’s chief forecaster said: “Snow is expected to develop across parts of Scotland early on Thursday. 

“Snow is likely to become heavy and persistent for a time on Thursday morning before easing and pushing away eastwards during the early afternoon. 

“2-5 cm of snow is likely for many parts with 10 cm above around 250 m and up to 20 cm over the highest ground.”

Meanwhile residents in Cumbria have been forced to lay down sandbags after the banks of the River Eden burst overnight.

Appleby residents were woken to the wailing sound of the town’s flood siren late last night.

A government flood notice read: “Further rain is expected into the morning of Thursday 23 November. 

“The River Eden will continue to remain high throughout the night in Appleby and the Flood Gates remain closed.

“The levels are now falling at Kirkby Stephen higher in the Eden catchment. The Environment Agency continues to monitor the situation and will update this message when the situation changes.”

Lancashire Constabulary said select homes were emptied after relentless rainfall caused flooding in the area.

A spokesman added: “All agencies worked really hard in a coordinated effort to minimise disruption and protect the public and we will continue to support those communities worst affected.

“The focus is now firmly on supporting those communities which have been most affected.”

Police added that “major disruption” was caused overnight with Lancaster and Galgate witnessing the most of the chaos.

Two local pubs were used as resting grounds by 27 residents that could not access their homes due to the high waters.

The Constabulary, combined with the efforts of Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, the Environment Agency and Lancaster City Council responded to more than 500 flooding-related calls.

Locals have taken to Twitter to show the size and scale of the flooding.

One user said: “Terrible weather today and some areas have already flooded – just be careful everyone.”

Another posted: “So with all the flooding, I’m not sure I can safely get out of the village and get to Lancaster?

“Apparently M6 junction flooded, A6 flooded in various places along the way?

“Fingers crossed for a change tomorrow before I have to get in the car.”

A third added: “Pretty much wondering whether to go to bed or build an ark – a lot of water outside and still heavy rain.”

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