Flash flooding closes roads and bridges as forecasters warn of 40mm of rain in two hours

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer

Britain is bracing for more “persistent and heavy” rain today, while flash floods have already caused chaos in the North.

Roads in North Yorkshire have been left impassable and a bridge collapsed after 50mm of rain fell in about an hour.

The monthly average in the area for this time of year is 89mm.

A damaged road and floodwater on the B6270 between Downhome and Grinton, North Yorkshire (Twitter/@OscarRomeo1268/PA)

Routes around some towns in the Yorkshire Dales remain shut while the Environment Agency said downpours left a flood warning in place for Arkle Beck at Reeth and Low Fremington.

A man and woman who were stranded 100ft up a cliff clinging on "by their fingernails" were rescued, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

The pair became stranded at Filey Brigg at about 4pm on Tuesday as they tried to climb the cliff to escape the tide, which cut them off as they walked along a beach.

Matt Atkinson, from HM Coastguard, said: "The man and woman were clinging on by their fingernails so we knew that we had to act fast.

"Once the teams knew that the man and woman were not going to fall, they were able to slowly bring them up the other 50ft of the cliffs to the top.

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"They were checked over at the top and are safe and well.”

Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team posted a picture of a collapsed bridge in Grinton on Facebook, urging motorists to "only travel if essential as many routes impassable" due to flooding.

Leonie Garrard, who runs a clothing and interiors shop in Leyburn, said "torrential rain" had caused water to come through the ceiling and left the town "cut off”.

"I have never seen [anything like] this in my whole life. It has been horrendous. There's pubs with cellars overflowing, roads have been blocked.

"There is more or less no way out of Leyburn at the moment."

Josie Beszant, who owns an art gallery in the town of Masham, said: "It was a very sudden and extremely heavy thunderstorm.

"Silver Street was flash flooded and fire engines came to pump it out. The gardens are pretty devastated. It just looks absolutely drenched."

Parts of Britain could face more torrential rain today, with the Met Office warning storms could dump up to 40mm of rain in two hours in places.

Parts of Britain are set for heavy and persistent rain on Wednesday (PA)

A yellow weather warning for rain has been issued for parts of central and northern England, while a similar alert for thunderstorms is in place in Scotland.

There are 10 flood warnings in place across the UK - from North Yorkshire, Lancashire and the West Midlands - with the Environment Agency saying local flooding was possible due to the thunderstorms and outbreaks of heavy rain.

The Met Office said: "Rain will be persistent and heavy in places across parts of central, northern and eastern England and north-east Wales at first on Wednesday.

"During the day rain may turn more showery in places but with a higher chance of thunderstorms by afternoon.

"Some parts of northern England could see as much as 40-60mm of rain through Wednesday, while thunderstorms could produce as much as 30-40 mm in 1-2 hours.”

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