The widespread flooding wreaked havoc in parts of England on Christmas Day, forcing residents to vacate their homes before further bad weather is expected with the arrival of Storm Bella later that evening.
The storm will bring violent storms and heavy rain, with winds expected to be up to 100 km / h.
During yesterday's flooding, the River Great Ouse burst its banks in Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire.
Police called more than 1,300 residents near the river to evacuate their homes as the floods continued to rise and engulf roads, fields and parts of Bedford town.
One woman described how she only had an hour to move her father's belongings before the river flooded "through the walls."
Dramatic photos taken today showed the devastation caused by the floods, while videos showed the moment people had to leave their homes.
More rain is expected in Bedfordshire on Sunday and Monday, and the area is one of three areas that are under a severe flooding warning, which is a mortal danger, along with the Cogenhoe Mill caravan site and Billing Aquadrome Holiday Park, both on the river Nene in Northamptonshire.
The Met Office added that Wales and south-west England are likely to have between 15-25mm of rain and later and tomorrow as Storm Bella over some hills up to 40-60mm over 1.6-2.4 inches (40-60 mm) arrives.
An amber wind warning was issued today for parts of south Wales and all of southern England, warning that travel may be disrupted.
In the meantime, a yellow wind warning has also been issued for the whole of England and Wales and the extreme south of Scotland, which will come into effect on Boxing Day from 3 p.m.
Bella follows relatively calm and cold conditions across the UK on Friday, with early morning snowfall in some areas.
People were warned that flying debris could cause injury or death, and that buildings could be damaged in a storm.
Much of Northern Ireland faces a yellow rain and wind warning from noon on Boxing Day until evening, with conditions potentially disrupting travel.
Storm Bella will bring violent storms and heavy rain on Boxing Day, the Met Office warned after people were evacuated from their homes due to flooding on Christmas Day. Pictured: the scenes of the flooding in St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, on Boxing Day morning
Its arrival will bring winds of up to 100 km / h to exposed coastal locations and further downpours. The country was flooded on Christmas Day and residents living in parts of Bedfordshire were told to leave their homes after the River Great Ouse (pictured today) burst its banks.
Aerial view of Bedford town where 1,300 homes along the River Ouse have been called to evacuate following a severe flood warning from the Environment Agency
In the meantime, a yellow wind warning has also been issued for the whole of England and Wales and the extreme south of Scotland, which will come into effect on Boxing Day from 3 p.m.
In addition to the strong winds, the Met Office said a period of heavy rain will hit the western and southern areas on Boxing Day.
A yellow rain warning was issued on Saturday for parts of Scotland, Wales and much of north and south-west England, including areas that have already suffered flooding from recent rains.
In Ireland, Met Eireann issued a nationwide yellow wind and rain warning that lasted until 4 a.m. on Sunday.
As of 5 a.m., England had 78 flood warnings and 99 flood warnings, two flood warnings and five flood warnings are in effect in Wales, and seven warnings and 13 warnings have been issued by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
Bedfordshire Police on Friday urged residents living near the River Great Ouse to seek alternative accommodation as Kempston and Bedford face high water levels.
Nine people and three dogs had to be rescued from a flood-affected property in Harrold, Bedfordshire.
Scenes of the flooding in Cambridgeshire on Boxing Day morning. Water had devoured fields and roads after the River Ouse burst its banks
The agonizing scenes were triggered by heavy rains on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day
A bird's eye view shows how close some houses have come to the Cambridgeshire flooding
A line of cars could be seen this morning driving over a bridge as the high tide rose just below
A bank was seen flooding after the River Great Ouse burst its banks
A family was spotted near the flood in Bedford after the River Great Ouse blew up its banks and urged authorities to warn people to leave their homes
Boxing Day aerial view of Bedford town where 1,300 houses along the River Ouse had to be evacuated
Bedfordshire police said people could take refuge in friends and family homes after the flood, despite Tier 4 coronavirus rules prohibiting indoor mixing
This dramatic photo showed the height of the flood in Bedford after the River Great Ouse burst its banks
The floods are adding to the misery for the British, who are already dealing with coronavirus restrictions that have made a normal Christmas festival impossible
This dramatic picture showed how high the flood has risen and threatened homes and businesses
This aerial photo showed part of a bridge after flooding from the Great Ouse River spilled over it
Emergency call centers have been set up at Bedfordshire Athletic Stadium and Bromham Village Hall.
Debbie Radford, whose father lives in the village of Odell near the river, told BBC Radio 4's Today program on Saturday how she had to help him upgrade many of his holdings from the first floor late on Christmas Eve.
At around 11 a.m. he called me and said he was in trouble. So I jumped in the car, it was only a few miles away and we had literally an hour to remove everything from the floor so we could rescue washers, dryers, refrigerators, carpets and furniture, ”she said.
Literally an hour later, the water came in through the walls. Last night it sat 1 foot deep all over the first floor.
& # 39; The water has risen 15ft. It is 12 feet from the river level to the top of the garden, to the shore.
“The last time it was flooded was 22 years ago and from all records in Odell it has never been this bad. It just came up, the water came through the sewer yesterday. & # 39;
A man peers through the window of the Barn Hotel in Bedford after residents near the river Great Ouse in north Bedfordshire were urged to seek alternative accommodation for fear of flooding
Flood was pictured around the hotel in the affected city as residents were forced to leave their homes
This man attempted to navigate the flood waters on a bicycle while wearing a pair of rubber boots
The region is prepared for more rain tonight when Storm Bella comes into the country
People can be seen on the banks of the River Great Ouse after the severe flooding in Bedford
The extreme weather in Bedford made a sinkhole appear and swallowed a tree
A spokesman for the Bedfordshire Police said on Christmas Day: “Residents living near the River Great Ouse in north Bedfordshire are urged to leave their homes and seek alternative accommodation because of the risk of flooding.
“People should look for alternative accommodation. This overrides the current Covid-19 regulations. & # 39;
Superintendent Steve Ashdown, who heads the response, said officials had visited just over 1,300 homes in the area the night before.
“In the north of the country, where we anticipate flooding, there are now a number of serious flood warnings, including some for serious floods that could be life threatening.
"We contacted 1,309 properties along the river last night with a suggestion that they evacuate and we would repeat that advice again based on the latest information."
He added, “River levels are extremely high and we expect this to have a significant impact on Bedford Borough in the next 24 hours.
“The fact that this happens on Christmas Day makes the situation even worse, especially after the disorder so many of us have already had, and I really sympathize with people.
"But this is a really serious situation and we need people to take steps to protect themselves."
In Blackpool, on the Irish Sea coast, violent waves were pounding against the coast when Storm Bella arrived in town
The choppy water flowed around Blackpool Pier, demonstrating the strength of Storm Bella
The country is prepared for the storm's arrival after the Met Office issued three severe flood warnings
A woman takes a picture of flooding in Bedford after residents near the River Great Ouse in north Bedfordshire were urged to seek alternative accommodation for fear of flooding
The river could be seen flowing onto paths and grassy areas in central Bedford after it blew its banks
Floods in Bedford where the River Great Ouse blew its banks. The residents were asked to leave their homes
Residents contemplate the expanse of flood waters in Bedford after heavy rain caused the River Ouse to burst its banks
This picture shows how far the flood has penetrated parts of Bedford after the heavy rain
Bedford Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The Environment Agency expects this to be the highest flood level in Bedford in several years. Working with partners, we strongly encourage people at risk of flooding who have been contacted to leave if they can safely do so. & # 39;
Today he wrote on Twitter: “We have received confirmation that the flood in central Bedford peaked at around 2am and is now receding.
"Flood is currently in Cardington and has yet to pass through Great Barford, which the environmental agency estimates will happen around 2:15 pm today."
On its website, the environmental agency said this morning: “It has rained heavily in the Great Ouse catchment for the past few days.
The River Great Ouse also burst on its banks at St. Ives, Cambridgeshire. Pictured: The scene on Boxing Day
The water from the river had flooded huge fields and paths. More rain is expected today
This bird's eye view showed the floods in Cambridgeshire invading people's homes and gardens
Bedford river levels remain high and stable. More rain is expected from December 27-28, 2020.
& # 39; We expect flooding to see Riverside Close, Ford End Road, Cauldwell Walk, Trade Street, Horne Lane, River Street, Palgrave Road, Cauldwell Street, Cardington Road, Kingsway, Nicholls Road, Goodmayes Close, Tennyson Road, and Chapel Close Bury Walk concern and Goldington Road in Bedford.
"Floods can seriously disrupt the community and it is possible that electricity supplies will be affected."
Despite the flooding, there were some festive cheer scenes on Boxing Day as swimmers brave the cool waters of the North Sea to enjoy a Boxing Day dip on Sandhaven Beach in South Shields, South Tyneside
Some of the brave swimmers only wore bikinis or swim shorts as they endured the icy water
Some swimmers in festive clothes. One woman wore a star over her swimming costume while another wore a Santa hat
Another swimmer wore a pair of gloves and a hat with a snowman while enjoying the sea water
Across England on Boxing Day just before noon, a total of 70 flood warnings and 95 flood warnings as well as the three major flood warnings remained in effect as huge amounts of water flowed through river basins.
Northamptonshire Police ordered people to stay away from Billing Aquadrome Holiday Park after hundreds were evacuated on Christmas Eve due to the high water levels on the River Nene.
The force said the water level reached 5 feet in some places and rescue services had used boats to bring residents in the hardest hit areas to safety.
Most of the evacuees, with one particular exception from the Covid-19 restrictions, were able to find accommodation with friends and family while around 100 people were taken to a hotel.
Hundreds were evacuated from their homes and vehicles after a period of heavy rain on Christmas Eve. Severe flood warnings for the River Nene in Northamptonshire indicated a threat to life. Pictured: Billings Aquadrome yesterday
Across England at 5 a.m. on Christmas Day, a total of 111 flood warnings and 137 flood warnings, plus the two major flood warnings, remained in effect as huge amounts of water flowed through river basins. Pictured: Billings Aquadrome
Cars were submerged in water yesterday after the Great Ouse River burst its banks and caused severe flooding in the area
Detective Superintendent Jamie Piscopo said, “The emergency services are working hard to get residents back to the site as soon as possible. However, this is currently not certain.
"We would urge you to stay away until it is safe."
Bedfordshire Police have tweeted that people should be looking for alternative housing – overriding current Covid-19 regulations.
Covid-safe emergency centers have been set up by the council at Bedford International Athletic Stadium and Bromham Village Hall for people who have been evacuated from their homes and have nowhere else to go.
Due to the risk of flooding, residents who are to be evacuated by officials are "allowed to go to other people's homes despite the Tier Four Covid 19 regulations currently in force," the council said.
Aerial view of the sunrise flooding around Tewkesbury this Christmas Day after days of pouring rain that has caused the Rivers Severn and Avon to rise and burst their banks where they meet
The Rivers Severn and Avon also burst on the banks at Tewkesbury, with dramatic aerial views showing houses and dangerously close to high tide on Christmas morning
It added that people should only take what they need, such as medication, and that they should turn off gas, water, and electricity and bring valuables upstairs.
Families packed unopened gifts last night when flooding forced them to vacate their homes the night before Christmas – with Storm Bella slated to bring two inches of rain and 70 miles an hour storm on Boxing Day.
Hundreds were evacuated from their homes and vehicles after a period of heavy rain on Christmas Eve. Severe flood warnings for the River Nene in Northamptonshire indicated a threat to life.
The heavy rain is expected to continue today. Up to two inches of rain are expected to fall in high areas after largely clear and dry conditions, the Met Office said. Pictured: Tewkesbury today
The arrival of Storm Bella on Boxing Day will bring further downpours and winds of up to 100 km / h in exposed coastal locations
Across England at 5 a.m. on Christmas Day, a total of 111 flood warnings and 137 flood warnings, plus the two major flood warnings, remained in effect as huge amounts of water flowed through river basins.
Northamptonshire police said emergency services had worked all night to evacuate more than 1,000 people from Billing Aquadrome Holiday Park in Northampton.
The troop said the heavy rain had caused flooding in places with water up to 5 feet deep.
There have also been evacuations in Norfolk and Suffolk as families prepared for Christmas Day last night. A serious incident was reported by the emergency services.
The water level on the Waveney River in Bungay is still monitored today when some Brits returned home to dry out their soaked carpets and furniture.
In Cambridgeshire, the Peterborough flood was knee deep after it hit the banks of the River Nene. On Christmas Day, the British waded through murky water to check their boats and property.
The Rivers Severn and Avon also burst on the banks at Tewkesbury, with dramatic aerial views showing houses and dangerously close to high tide on Christmas morning.
Alex Burkill, a meteorologist at the Met Office, said, "Christmas Eve night into Christmas Day will be very cold, with hard, widespread frost first thing on Christmas morning."
Pictured: A sunrise over Tewkesbury Abbey as the flood waters linger dangerously close to the property after heavy rainfall
The heavy rain is expected to continue today. Up to two inches of rain are expected to fall in high areas after largely clear and dry conditions, the Met Office said.
"The recent wet weather and saturated soil make this area more sensitive than usual to further heavy rainfall, particularly in parts of south Wales," added.
Alex Burkill, a meteorologist at the Met Office, previously said: “Christmas Eve night into Christmas Day will be very cold, with hard, widespread frost first thing on Christmas morning.
"So it could be a white Christmas because many people will wake up with a frost."
On Christmas Eve there were light snow flurries, also on the northeast coast.
He continued, “They will be very light and scattered, they won't be seen in any way everywhere, and for most areas it will be a fairly dry day, just cold, but there is a chance we could see a few Showers can see snow in the east of England, especially on Christmas Day. & # 39;
The focus for many will be on the rain that has already fallen after the wet conditions caused flooding, including in the Midlands. Pictured: Tewkesbury today
A graph also showed the weather across the UK this morning when ice warnings were issued in parts of the country
For many, however, the focus will be on the rain that has already fallen after the wet conditions caused flooding, including in the Midlands.
Northamptonshire Search and Rescue was involved in the evacuations at Billing Aquadrome Holiday Park that included a new mother and young baby.
Emergency shelters were found in hotels and at least two leisure centers for residents, some of whom showed signs of hypothermia.
Police chief's superintendent Mick Stamper said it was an "exceptionally challenging situation" and urged residents to leave the premises if they could, adding that they would be exempt from travel restrictions for Covid-19.
The Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service announced a major event at the holiday park on Christmas Eve. Five crews and four specialized water teams searched 1,100 caravans.
The force previously responded to 250 incidents after heavy rain and deployed crews to pump out properties and stranded vehicles.
Aerial view of the flooding at Haw Bridge in Tirley, Gloucestershire on Christmas Day when the River Severn blew its banks and cut off the people who lived there
Pictured: Floods at Haw Bridge in Tirley, Gloucestershire on Christmas Day after the area suffered overnight flooding
People wade through the flood waters to check boats and property in Orton while the area is flooded as the River Nene bursts its banks in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire
In Cambridgeshire, the Peterborough flood was knee deep after it hit the banks of the River Nene. On Christmas Day, the British waded through murky water to check their boats and property
A man wades through the flood waters to inspect boats and property in Orton while the area is flooded as the River Nene bursts its banks in Peterborough
An amber national severe weather warning has been issued for parts of south Wales and all of southern England, with gusts that can reach speeds of up to 100 km / h in exposed coastal locations
A yellow warning of wind for all of England and Wales and the far south of Scotland has also been issued and will be in effect on Boxing Day from 3pm
St. Ives, Cambridgeshire, after the River Great Ouse burst its banks. More bad weather is forecast for Boxing Day. Storm Bella is expected to bring heavy rain
There are eight flood warnings in Norfolk. Dereham firefighters are called to Cranworth, near Watton, to report on a house that had been flooded by heavy rain early on Christmas Day.
Another crew from London was asked to flood in front of a house on Ditchingham Dam near Bungay at 7.45 a.m. Further reports of an accident involving several vehicles in the Thickthorn roundabout at the gates of Norwich.
A police spokesman said the force had received more than normal calls about floods in the past 24 hours since Christmas Eve. They added officers were helping the fire brigade.
The Met Office said conditions across the UK will become increasingly troubled by December 27, as strong winds and heavy rain come from the north.
An amber national severe weather warning has been issued for parts of south Wales and all of southern England, with gusts that can reach speeds of up to 100 km / h in exposed coastal locations.
A yellow wind warning for all of England and Wales and the extreme south of Scotland has also been issued and will be in effect on Boxing Day from 3pm.
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