Fifteen areas in northern England and Wales remained on flood alert tonight after a band of heavy rain pushed south across the country.
Residents watched from behind hastily-built sandbag walls at Appleby-in-Westmorland as Cumbria’s river Eden came close to flooding the town.
There were also 24-hour monitors on duty on the river Dee in Wales and the Ouse near York, where levels were swollen by torrential rain on the Welsh mountains and Pennine catchments.
Tonnes of mud slid into the river Tyne in central Gateshead and Newcastle, carrying with it 30m of the Gateshead sculpture walkway. Emergency services worked throughout the night to check for possible injuries, deploying a helicopter with thermal imaging and the local fire service launch.
The Met Office reported rainfall of up to 25mm in Wales and the Environment Agency started the day with 27 flood warnings – the highest risk level before an actual breach of defences. There were also 69 flood alerts, the next most serious.