An RAF Chinook battles to save a swamped town by plugging a breached riverbank amid the ongoing chaos of our monsoon weather .
Wainfleet All Saints, in Lincolnshire, was flooded after two months of rain fell in 48 hours, swelling the River Steeping.
A state of emergency was declared and 100 homes were evacuated while there were fears up to 720 were at risk.
The RAF swooped to drop one-ton agricultural bags filled with sand and earth to try to stem the flow – which also swamped 150 acres of farmland.
Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West of Lincolnshire Police said: “There were thousands of gallons of water gushing through that breach. That is starting to stem. We need to plug that breach.”
The weather in the area improved throughout yesterday but Mr West warned the water would take some time to subside. Angry landowners claimed the Environment Agency could have done more to prevent the catastrophe.
Joe Taylor, 69, said: “They’ve done very, very little, if any, maintenance of Steeping River for the last 20 years.”
In town, emergency teams helped flooded Jean Hart rescue her pet tortoise, Mr T, and cat Aurora. She said: “To see our house under water is absolutely horrendous… it’s devastated.”
Lincolnshire, the Midlands and North West were worst-hit by torrential rain.
And the country’s summer festival calendar has also been hit hard.
Some music fans at Download left Donington Park before the music had even started and the slippery conditions have caused injuries.
John Hawkins, 34, decided to go home on Thursday after slipping a disc and said: “I was looking forward to my first festival experience but all I got was mud, cold and pain.”
Samantha Gibben, who dislocated her hip, left Download, near Derby, six hours after arriving. She said: “I was just sliding everywhere.”
More rain is forecast at the event today and tomorrow – when headliners Slayer play their last-ever UK gig.
Over at the mud-soaked Isle of Wight Festival , a tornado was spotted.
In Corby, Northants, a landslip on Thursday stopped a train from London to Nottingham. Some 400 people were stranded up to eight hours after a second rescue train also got stuck.
As of Wednesday, Britain had been hit by total rainfall of 65.7mm since the beginning of the month. But the Met said it is still not expected to top the June record of 149mm set in 2012.
Showers will go on over the weekend but conditions will settle down.
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