Hundreds of homes evacuated as rain, gale batter Britain

London, Dec 31 (IANS) Torrential rainfall and gusts caused by Storm Frank has brought more misery to already heavy-hit areas in north Britain.

The worst-hit areas so far have included Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as north England, according to local media reports.

Hundreds of homes had been evacuated and thousands were left without power in those areas, Xinhua reported.

The storm since late Tuesday wreaked havoc on local traffic. An 18th century stone bridge in Tadcaster, North Yorkshire collapsed.

Flights in Northern Ireland have been affected because of gales, while trees toppled by winds have blocked hundreds of roads.

Britain’s Environment Agency said as of 4.00 p.m. on Wednesday, there were three severe flood warnings, 46 flood warnings and 84 flood alerts in place across England and Wales.

It warned that heavy rain would continue to fall across Northern England on Wednesday and there was the potential for further significant flooding especially in Cumbria, one of the worst-hit areas.

“The country has faced an extraordinary period of severe weather and flooding since the start of December,” the Environment Agency said.

More than 6,700 homes were flooded as river levels reached all- time highs across the north of England over the past week.

“Environment Agency teams continue to work around the clock in difficult conditions. The weather remains hugely challenging, with more rain threatening to cause further flooding in Cumbria and Yorkshire today and into New Year’s Eve.

“We urge communities and visitors, particularly in Cumbria, to prepare and not to walk or drive through flood water,” said Craig Woolhouse, director of incident management at the Environment Agency.

More than 3,000 homes in Scotland have lost power, while about 20,000 homes and businesses in Northern Ireland were also left without electricity overnight, but some 500 are still without power.

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