Up to a month's worth of rain has fallen across northern England in recent days, and flood waters have hit cities and towns including Manchester, Rochdale and Leeds. Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss said that while the worst of the rainfall had passed, there was still potential for further flooding.
"In many areas, the impact of further heavy rain falling on already saturated ground is unprecedented, with record river levels across Lancashire and Yorkshire causing flooding in upwards of 3,500 properties and the evacuation of hundreds of homes," she said.
More than a hundred flood warnings remained in place on Sunday (27 December), including 24 severe warnings, which indicate a danger to life, the government said. There are more than 200 flood warnings across Britain as home and business owners prepare for serious flooding. The army has been deployed to some villages to bolster flood defences as rain continues to fall across the north
The River Ouse has flooded York after heavy rain. Homes and businesses in Yorkshire and Lancashire evacuated as water levels continue to rise in many parts. Members of Cleveland Mountain Rescue and soldiers from 2 Battalion The Duke of Lancasters Regiment assisted members of the public as they evacuated.
Hebden Bridge in Calderdale, West Yorkshire
Mytholmroyd in Calderdale, West Yorkshire
Prime Minister David Cameron pledged more military help for the region as the army was deployed to move 300 to 400 people from their homes in York, where the River Ouse was expected to continue rising until Monday, the local council said.
Some 100 soldiers were also helping emergency services in the hardest hit areas of West Yorkshire, including Leeds, police said, after the region suffered its worst flooding in 70 years.
"We are dealing with an incredibly serious situation," Cameron told Sky News, after holding a conference call with ministers to discuss the emergency. "The level of the rivers plus the level of rainfall has created an unprecedented effect and so some very serious flooding. We've decided to deploy more military resources, more military personnel, to help."
Reporting by Reuters
This article was first published on December 27, 2015