RAF drafted in after widespread heavy flooding

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Residents are taken to safety in an inflatable boat by rescue workers in Wainfleet All Saints, in Lincolnshire (Joe Giddens/PA)

Military helicopters are assisting emergency services in Lincolnshire after a river burst its banks following heavy rain which caused disruption to parts of the country.

A Chinook helicopter was deployed to drop sand in the town of Wainfleet in an attempt to stop the flow of water from the River Steeping which experienced a breach.

The Ministry of Defence said it will continue to assist with emergency repairs, drafting in a Puma to help tackle floods on Friday as a Joint RAF and Army unit are set to fly in almost 70 one-tonne bags of gravel.

Seventy properties were hit by flooding, but Lincolnshire County Council warned that up to 720 could be affected after it said the town had more than two months’ of rain in just two days.

Cattle stranded in floodwater at Thorpe Culvert, near Wainfleet in Lincolnshire (Joe Giddens/PA)
Cattle stranded in floodwater at Thorpe Culvert, near Wainfleet in Lincolnshire (Joe Giddens/PA)

Some 13 flood warnings and 46 flood alerts were in place on Friday afternoon, with the majority across the Midlands and North West.

As at June 12, the UK had seen total rainfall of 2.6in (65.7mm) since the beginning of the month.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said that, despite the current treacherous conditions, June 2012 remained the wettest on record with 5.9in (149mm).

Residents are taken to safety in an inflatable boat by rescue workers in Wainfleet (Joe Giddens/PA)
Residents are taken to safety in an inflatable boat by rescue workers in Wainfleet (Joe Giddens/PA)

“Although we are at a point where some areas have seen their full amounts of monthly rain, so far we don’t think we’re on track to beat the 2012 record as a wet June,” he said.

“It’s something we do get now and again, which is obviously unwelcome for those people who have wanted to enjoy nicer weather.”

A flooded railway line in Thorpe Culvert, Lincolnshire
A flooded railway line in Thorpe Culvert, Lincolnshire (Joe Giddens/PA)

Elsewhere, a landslip near Corby, Northamptonshire, stopped an East Midlands Train from London to Nottingham on Thursday and saw a second train which went to rescue them also become stuck.

Around 400 passengers were stranded for up to eight hours before being evacuated, and one person was treated at the scene in an ambulance by paramedics.

The train operator apologised to the customers involved in the incident, calling it a “challenging situation” due to rubble and serious flooding hampering rescue efforts.

Showers are expected over the weekend but conditions are due to settle down, temperatures are anticipated to rise and no further weather warnings have been issued, the Met Office said.

Warmer air building over Europe will see higher temperatures in parts of the South East next week, with the potential of sunny spells hitting the mid-20s.

The Environment Agency said: “The flood risk for the weekend remains low with an improving weather picture on Saturday and Sunday, although there will be showers, occasionally heavy, at times. Continuing minor river flooding impacts are possible but not expected along parts of the River Severn today (Friday) through to Sunday.”

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