Page last updated at 18:58 GMT, Tuesday, 21 June 2005 19:58 UK

Repair work goes on after floods

Boy looking at flood damage at his home

Engineers are working to restore access to remote areas of North Yorkshire that were cut off after flash floods swept through the county.

Roads linking some villages have been extensively damaged and a number of bridges were destroyed.

Food and water supplies have been flown to those areas worst affected by Sunday's storms.

North Yorkshire County Council said its main concern on Wednesday would be restoring access to communities.

At one time more than 38,000 homes in the North East were cut off, Northern Electric Distribution said.

On Tuesday, eight houses were still without power in Arden, near York.

Engineers were continuing to have access problems but power was expected to be restored to the last customer by 2200 BST, a spokesman told BBC News.

Map showing location of flooded towns and villages
The main flooded areas are on the edge of the North York Moors

Among the worst-affected places in North Yorkshire were the market town of Helmsley and nearby Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe on the edge of the North York Moors.

A major clean-up operation is continuing in Helmsley, about 20 miles north of York, where floodwaters coursed through the town, cutting it off and closing the A170 and the B1257.

Engineers have been assessing damage to bridges in the area and the nearby tiny community of Hawnby, in which all three access bridges were extensively damaged.

North Yorkshire County Council said it hoped to erect a temporary structure across Chapel Bridge - which was completely swept away - on Wednesday.

Public meeting

Roads linking the communities of Thirlby and Boltby near Thirsk were "literally torn up by the flood water" and are likely to need major reconstruction, the council revealed.

The authority was holding a meeting in one of the worst-hit communities, Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe, on Tuesday evening to outline plans for reconstruction.

Council spokesman David Bowe said the absolute priority was restoring access to flood-hit communities.

"Although it was predicted there would be some storms nobody anticipated anything of this nature.

"The damage that we have seen means we are facing millions of pounds worth of repairs."

Royal support

Chief Constable Della Cannings, of North Yorkshire Police, praised emergency services for their actions during the rescue operation but said it would be a long time before residents' lives returned to normal.

"Hopefully, insurance assessors and work people can be got into the area pretty quickly to assist the local people," she said.

Mrs Cannings also received a message of support from the Duke of York for the people affected by the floods, Buckingham Palace said.

Prince Andrew stayed in the town of Helmsley last week when he attended the Royal Ascot races at York.

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See the clear-up operation

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