Heavy rain and gales are hitting Northern Ireland and Scotland as Storm Frank brings fears of further flooding.
There are four severe flood warnings, indicating danger to life – three in Croston, Lancashire, which is braced for the second flood in a week. A further 47 flood warnings, requiring immediate action, are in force in England and Wales and more than 60 in place in Scotland. In Northern Ireland, homes also experienced power cuts, air passengers were delayed and fallen trees caused problems on the roads. Meanwhile in North Yorkshire, soldiers evacuated homes near a bridge in Tadcaster after it collapsed, prompting fears of flooding and a possible gas explosion. Passengers on nine flights into Belfast International Airport were temporarily held on planes due to high winds. A BBC Weather spokesman said heavy rain was set to hit north-west England, south and central Scotland, and Wales, warning up to 120mm (nearly 5 inches) could fall in some areas. In Croston, an RAF Chinook helicopter delivered 400 tonnes of sandbags on Tuesday in a bid to try to shore up the nearby River Douglas.


Villagers, already hit by floods on Boxing Day, are now preparing for the storm to hit them around mid-morning. The fourth severe weather warning was issued in response to the collapse of the Tadcaster Bridge which caused a nearby gas pipe to rupture. People watched the storm-battered masonry crumble into the swollen river, before running away as a wave headed towards the bank and a strong smell of gas leaked from exposed pipes. Homes around the 18th century stone bridge, over the River Wharfe, were evacuated by soldiers.
Reports were received of dry goods stolen from outside homes, tools taken from sheds and a back door forced open.
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