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Tuesday, 22 October, 2002, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
UK storms bring travel chaos
The Met Office issued severe weather warnings
The Met Office issued severe weather warnings
Parts of Britain have been hit by heavy rain and flooding which is causing chaos for travellers, with warnings of more bad weather to come.

Scottish regions were among the worst hit, with homes in Eyemouth submerged in water of up to two feet after the River Eye burst its banks.

There were landslides in Northern Ireland which prompted several road closures, while in East Sussex sea passengers were briefly left stranded when strong winds blew a ferry onto a sandbank.

The torrential rain is showing no signs of letting up and police are warning people in many areas not to travel unless their journeys are vital.

Further flood risks

The Environment Agency has issued seven flood warnings for the North East.

Three flood warnings are in place for the River Coquet, one for the River North Tyne, two for the River Ouse and one for the River Tyne.

In Scotland, 50mm of rain fell overnight in some places, causing severe disruption on road and rail.

Both the East and West Coast main railway lines are closed and many major roads are unusable because of flooding.

Truck
Emergency services were clearing up
Virgin services to England have been disrupted due to flooding around Dumfries and there is expected to be a knock-on effect on sleeper services from the Highlands.

Rail operators are expected to use coach services to bypass affected sections on both the east and west lines.

Flooding has affected many residents, but there are no reports that homes in Scotland have had to be evacuated.

Residents near the Eye Water, which runs from East Lothian to Eyemouth, the Gala Water at Selkirk and Jed Water in the Borders were advised to take precautions to protect themselves from flooding.

The Scottish Environment Agency also issued flood warnings for 14 areas, including the Water of Leith - which runs through Edinburgh, the River Esk, the River Tyne at Haddington and the River Earn in Perthshire.

Landslides

In Northern Ireland, Roads Service staff worked overnight in an attempt to relieve the effects of flooding.

The service's spokesman John White said: "In some cases they've had to close roads and have been sandbagging properties to avoid flooding."
Flood information
Call Floodline on 0845 988 1188

Some of the worst flooding in the province was in County Down, south of Belfast.

Sections of the road between Annalong and Newcastle were affected by mudslides, while the Omeath road in Newry, which crosses the border with the Irish Republic, was closed.

Forecasters say rain in the Province is likely to give way to gale force winds later on Tuesday.

Stranded passengers

In England, hundreds of ferry passengers bound for Dieppe in France were stranded when high winds blew the vessel onto a sand bank.

Coastguards said the captain of the Transmanche car ferry was unable to steer the vessel against force eight gusts and it was blown on to the sand bank close to the harbour entrance as it tried to leave Newhaven.

An hour after the boat ran aground, it was pulled free and was able to continue its passage to France.

A PA Weather Centre spokesman predicted less severe weather for most parts of England and Wales during Tuesday, with "a mixture of big showers with short bright interludes".

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Tim Wilcox
"Tonight the rain is still falling"
See also:

22 Oct 02 | Scotland
22 Oct 02 | N Ireland
08 Sep 02 | Scotland
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