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Families flee from homes as rescuers battle to stem tide of flood

Flow-go area:
Marooned
homes in
Wainfleet,
Lincolnshire
PICTURE: PA

HUNDREDS of people have been forced out of their homes by flooding.

At least 590 Lincolnshire households were advised to leave properties in Wainfleet and Thorpe Culvert on Friday and Saturday as water surged from a river that burst its banks in downpours.

Trains cancelled: Rail tracks lie submerged as flood water laps around a car

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency assisted with evacuating residents, who were warned to expect to be away at least until today. They were advised to stay with friends or go to a refuge set up at a school in Skegness.

Environment Agency staff and fire crews were pumping out water from flooded streets, while RAF helicopters had dropped 270 one-ton sandbags to shore up the banks of the Steeping.

All at sea: Photo taken from a Network Rail helicopter

With further heavy rain forecast, Boston and Skegness MP Matt Warman warned that residents were ‘by no means out of the woods’.

He urged people to keep abreast of advice being issued by the police.

‘In terms of the response, we have seen an incredible working together of the agencies,’ Mr Warman said. ‘Local people should keep an eye on the police because there is still the potential for risk to homes and lives.

Wading in: Fireman works to pump out water

‘But in the long term, it will always just be a huge thank you.’

More than two months’ worth of rain — 132mm — fell on the Wainfleet area between Monday and Wednesday.

It was an ‘unprecedented event’, the Environment Agency said. A warning that floods were possible was issued to everyone living in the PE23 and PE22 postcode areas by Lincolnshire Police.

Sandbags: John Rowlings outside his flooded home

The rail line from Boston to Skegness will be shut until at least tomorrow because of flooded tracks.

Brighter weather is expected today and south-east England could enjoy temperatures of 26C tomorrow. But the Met Office’s Simon Partridge predicted ‘thundery and heavy rain’ tomorrow or on Wednesday, pushing in from the south towards north-east England.