A helicopter was called in to help people stranded in houses on the Isle of Man, where police declared a “major incident” after a river burst its banks.

It came after the Met Office issued severe weather warnings for heavy rainfall on Tuesday morning, with some regions expected to be hit by the equivalent of two weeks of rain in less than an hour.

Floodwater from the Laxey River gushed through the village of Laxey on the east coast of the Isle of Man, with officers saying “several vehicles have washed away”.

A fire engine and a vehicle from the civil defence, a volunteer emergency response service on the island, were seen driving through a heavily flooded street.

A civil defence vehicle and a fire engine can both be seen on a flooded street in Laxey
Image: A civil defence vehicle and a fire engine can both be seen on a flooded street in Laxey

Police have urged people to avoid “all non-urgent travel” on the island, where a landslip has been reported on a mountain road.

The force said people were trapped in at least three houses in Laxey, which is around four miles north of the capital Douglas.

One witness, Julie Graham, said on Twitter: “Coastguard helicopter on Laxey football pitch. Horrendous conditions, river has burst it’s banks, people trapped in their houses.

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“The emergency services are doing an amazing job.”

A car in a flooded street in Laxey, Isle of Man
Image: Vehicles were said to have been ‘washed away’ in Laxey

Police on the Isle of Man said on Facebook: “Glen Road between the upper and lower bridges has flooded severely.

“Several vehicles have washed away. Persons are trapped in at least three houses.

“Fire Rescue and Coastguard are on scene with fast water rescue teams. A major incident has been declared with all government agencies helping out.

“We are asking that any persons trapped go up stairs and monitor media.”

A construction vehicle appeared to have been knocked over by floodwater in Laxey
Image: Floodwater gushed through Glen Road in Laxey on the Isle of Man earlier

The force said in a separate post: “While we assess the full impact of the rain and flooding, we suggest that all non-urgent travel is avoided.”

Laxey appeared to be the worst hit part of the island, but police have also reported problems in the village of Onchan.

The Met Office issued severe yellow weather warnings for heavy rain across Wales, southern England, the Midlands, East Anglia and parts of Scotland on Tuesday morning.

The yellow weather warnings were put in place for between 6am and 8pm.

The Environment Agency had 31 flood warnings, meaning flooding is expected immediately, and 150 alerts, meaning flooding is possible, in place on Tuesday evening.

Severe flooding has hit Worcester, as well as the villages of Sileby and Cossington in Leicestershire and the inner-city suburb of Alum Rock in Birmingham.

A beagle was seen poking her head round the door in flooded Cossington, Leicester, earlier Flooding in Cossington, Leicester. Beagle, Lady, views the floodwater outside the front door with deep suspicion. Torrential thunderstorms and the village's proximity to the River Soar has seen parts of the village flooded. PA Photo. Picture date: Tuesday October 1, 2019. See PA story WEATHER Rain. Photo credit should read: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Image: A beagle was seen poking her head round a door in flooded Cossington, Leicester
Rescue workers were seen walking through a residential area in Leicestershire earlier
Image: Rescue workers were seen walking through a residential area in Leicestershire earlier

Fresh storms have hit as parts of the north of England and the Midlands continue to cope with flash flooding following days of adverse weather.

Meteorologists have said the slow-moving clouds on Tuesday could bring rainfall totals of as much as 1.6in to 2in (40mm to 50mm) in a couple of hours in some places.

Met Office spokesman Grahame Madge said: “This could lead to the potential for flash flooding quite quickly.”

Mr Madge said the heavy downpours will die out on Tuesday night, when a ridge of high pressure will cause plummeting temperatures with the potential for a grass frost in some northern areas.

A car drives down a flooded road in Alum Road, Birmingham
Image: A car drives down a flooded road in Alum Road, Birmingham

But he said a day of fine weather on Wednesday will then give way to further wind and rain as what is left of Hurricane Lorenzo, which is currently threatening the Azores, lashes the UK from later on Thursday.

Northern Rail said the Maryport to Carlisle line in Cumbria was badly affected, with replacement bus services operating in some sections.

It added that the line is also blocked between Hexham and Carlisle following a reported landslip at Wetherall.

There has also been flooding at Thackley, between Leeds and Carlisle.

A spokesman said: “Heavy rain and flooding is, again, impacting Northern’s ability to operate services this morning.

“Delays and short-notice cancellations are likely across the region as rain continues to fall on already soaked ground.”

Source: news.sky.com