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Families evacuated as river rises
Police evacuated people from their homes in a Cornwall town as rising river levels threatened to flood their properties.
Residents were led to safety in Helston after the River Cober rose rapidly following heavy rainfall. A number of properties have now flooded, and it is feared the figure could rise as rain continues to batter the county.
Fire crews have been called to about 70 flood-related incidents across Cornwall since midnight, the council said. Crews have attended incidents at St Austell, Lostwithiel, Looe, Helston, Hayle, Torpoint, Penzance, Probus, Durgan, Millbrook, St Columb and St Just.
But the bad weather is far from confined to Cornwall.
The Environment Agency has almost 270 flood alerts and 90 flood warnings in place, stretching right across England and Wales. In Scotland, there are 12 flood alerts and 16 flood warnings in place, with Tayside worst affected.
The Met Office is forecasting more rain across England and Wales over the coming days, with the heaviest expected to fall in Cornwall and Devon and some parts of Somerset.
The rain will fall on saturated ground, which is expected to lead to surface water and river flooding. There could also be run-off from fields and some flooding of property and roads.
Communities are being urged to keep up to date with the latest information and to stay safe, by staying away from swollen rivers and not attempting to drive through floodwater.
Mike Williams, from the Environment Agency, said: "This is the last weekend before Christmas, so it will be particularly busy with people travelling through the region. We would urge people to take extra care when planning their journeys and we aware of the risk of flooding."
Tom Tobler, a forecaster with MeteoGroup, said "heavy and persistent" rain would affect almost every part of the UK on Saturday, and he added: "Cornwall may have another 15mm of rain to come, and it wouldn't take that much to create extra problems. The rain is pretty bad news for that part of the country, but it is going to be a wet day everywhere, really."