Risk of more floods as rivers swell

Firefighters make their way along a flooded street in Old Malton, North Yorkshire

Flood waters come close to covering houses in St Asaph, Denbighshire, North Wales after the town flooded

A flooded playground outside Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire

First published in National News © by

Swollen rivers are still at risk of flooding over the next few days, the Environment Agency has said, as icy temperatures take hold of the UK.

The Environment Agency (EA) warned that some rivers, including the Thames, Trent and Severn, remain at very high levels despite the improving weather.

It could take much longer for floodwaters to subside, as teams work around the clock to shore up defences and clear blockages from watercourses, it added.

Downpours across the country caused widespread devastation in towns and communities, but now the rain has made way for drier weather, the huge and costly clean-up operation can begin.

EA figures showed some 1,600 properties had flooded since Wednesday, while flood defences had protected more than 54,000 homes.

Communities should still remain prepared for flooding, with 127 flood warnings and 137 flood alerts still in place across England and Wales, but more than 100 have been removed in the last 24 hours since the weather has improved.

In Whitby, North Yorkshire, preparations were being made to demolish five homes on Aelfleda Terrace because of fears they might collapse.

Work is expected to begin later on Thursday, although it is understood the steep, tight location will present demolition experts with a number of problems

Torrential rain has led to the gardens and patios sliding down the steep slope below them and they are now 30ft lower than the 150-year-old terrace.

The landslip also saw a huge slab of rock and earth, about the size of a minibus, crash into another terrace of homes below.

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