Dozens rescued as heavy rain sparks widespread flooding
The Met Office said around 1.7in (4.3cm) of rain had fallen in 24 hours in parts of Lancashire.
More than 70 people have been rescued in north Lancashire as heavy rain caused widespread flooding and travel disruption across north-west England and North Wales.
A number of roads were closed in the area and 27 residents were evacuated from their homes in the village of Galgate, near Lancaster, before sheltering in local pubs overnight.
Lancashire Constabulary said emergency services, the Environment Agency and Lancaster City Council had received more than 500 flood-related calls, and attended over 100 incidents.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said more than 70 people had been rescued, along with at least 20 horses, a cat and a dog.
The fire service said most of the rescues did not involve a “life risk”, with some of the more serious incidents including moving vulnerable people out of their homes, saving trapped animals, and pumping flood water out of houses.
Not ideal really pic.twitter.com/uapBGu5RHj— Rory Cook (@Rory__Cook) November 22, 2017
People were urged not to call emergency services unless there was a threat to life as crews tackled a backlog of incidents.
The Met Office said around 1.7in (4.3cm) of rain had fallen in 24 hours in parts of Lancashire, while further north in Cumbria around half a month’s rain, 3.5in (8.9cm), was recorded in 36 hours at Shap.
Rail operator Northern tweeted that flooding had stopped services between Lancaster and Morecambe, Carlisle, Oxenholme and Windermere.
A southbound stretch of the M6 in south Cumbria was reduced to one lane on Wednesday night and into Thursday morning, while North Yorkshire Police said “a number of vehicles” had been recovered from floodwaters in the Yorkshire Dales as the A65 was closed.
In Scotland, wintry showers are forecast to bring 0.7in to 2in (1.8cm-5cm) of snow to many parts of Scotland and up to 7.9in (20cm) on the highest ground, the Met Office said.
Snow was beginning to accumulate on high ground on Thursday morning, with 1.7in (4.3cm) on Aviemore and 1.2in (3cm) in Altnaharra.
A yellow “be aware” weather warning for snow kicked in just after midnight for the Scottish Highlands, Western Isles, Grampian, Strathclyde and Central, Tayside and Fife regions.
The warning, which covers the morning rush hour and is valid until 1pm on Thursday, warns that some roads and railways are likely to be affected, with possible longer journey times for road, bus and train services.
Sheena Engineer, national flood duty manager at the Environment Agency, said: “Further heavy rain overnight in the North West has caused flooding to a number of properties in Cumbria and Lancashire.
“Our staff have been on the ground overnight to support communities and our actions have protected more than 6,000 properties.
“We’ll continue to provide support to those affected today, working with partners to assess the situation and check flood defences.
“Although the situation is improving, we urge people to take care, not to drive through flood water and to follow the latest updates at https://flood-warning-information.service.gov.uk/”
There was some disruption to travel in the Highlands, where emergency services dealt with a jackknifed lorry on the A9 at Berriedale Braes in Caithness at around 7am.
A car and a lorry were involved in a collision on the A9 just south of Aviemore just before 9am in snowy conditions.
The road was closed until 10.10am while emergency services dealt with the incident. No-one was injured in either crash.
Highland Council said most roads were affected by the wintry conditions with snow and ice and flooding in many areas.
Most of the higher routes in north Sutherland had up to 10cm of wet snow, while some of the lower routes inland had as much as 5cm.
All routes in Caithness were affected by minor flooding while there was major flooding on some of the main routes. There were reports further south of frost and ice and some snow on the roads.
Badcaul Primary school’s nursery was closed due to bad weather.