Flood-hit count cost of clean-up

Mark Armstrong cleans the floor in Lanchester Hardware store after flooding in Lanchester, County Durham

Passengers queue outside Central Station in Glasgow as storms caused major rail disruption

Residents empty buckets of water from their homes in Hebburn (AP)

First published in National News © by

Homeowners, businesses and the insurance industry are counting the cost of a major clean-up operation after freak storms hit the country.

Landslips caused chaos on the railways, cars were submerged by rising water and homes well away from rivers and streams flooded because of the volume of rain that fell on Thursday.

Retired school teacher Michael Ellis died on Thursday after he was swept away in floods in Shropshire.

In a statement released by West Mercia Police, his wife Judith described the 66-year-old as "a gentle, caring man" and the "most wonderful husband".

The Environment Agency said the period of April to June has been the wettest since records began.

Rail services between England and Scotland were badly disrupted well into the day as rain tore away track beds at Scremerston, Northumberland, and landslides in the Lake District and Scottish Highlands caused more problems.

It led to thousands being stranded as no trains could pass between Newcastle and Edinburgh until the afternoon. Hundreds of engineers will work over the weekend to repair the damaged tracks, which include the Newcastle to Carlisle line near Haltwhistle.

Councils across the country worked hard to re-open flooded roads and remove the silt and debris left by the floods. Abandoned cars - many lined with mud - were being recovered from where they were dumped in the worst of the storm.

Organisers of the Godiva Festival in Coventry, which was expected to attract 100,000 revellers, had to cancel the event because of the weather.

Claire Austin, a forecaster with the MeteoGroup, the weather arm of the Press Association, said the outlook for the weekend was sunshine and showers for most places, with no sign of a repeat of the intense storms. "Next week is looking like more rain for most places," she said.

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