Overnight, emergency services began rescuing residents of Cockermouth in Cumbria as torrential rain caused rivers to burst their banks, flooding much of the town.
RAF helicopters airlifted at least 50 people to safety as some were forced to break through the roofs of their houses to escape the rising water.
A BBC helicopter captured the scale of the flooding.
Many homes are now surrounded by water.
A bridge on the River Derwent has collapsed in Workington.
The Environment Agency said the situation was "very serious". Police said water levels in Cockermouth centre had reached more than 2.5m (8ft 2in).
Some residents are being rescued from their homes by members of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI).
The Environment Agency describes a severe flood warning as a threat of "extreme danger to life and property".
A sign advertising The Bitter End in Cockermouth seemed particularly appropriate in the wake of the floods.
Firefighters and RNLI personnel rescue Pat Edwards from her home in the centre of Cockermouth.
The depth of the water can be seen as emergency rescue workers wade through a flooded street in Cockermouth.
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