Homes evacuated and thousands without power as Storm Frank wreaks havoc


Hundreds of homes have been evacuated and thousands are without power after Storm Frank battered the UK with heavy rain and high winds.

Residents in Scotland were the latest to endure the misery of being forced from their homes by foul weather as the third named storm in a month hit the country, causing widespread disruption.

Further torrential rain also hit the saturated north of England with people in Croston in Lancashire earlier urged to immediately evacuate their homes.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn became the latest figure to criticise the Environment Agency for its handling of the crisis, ahead of a visit to York tomorrow.

Mr Corbyn said he plans to question officials about 10 "high volume pumps" the party claims the agency owns but has not deployed to the North.

Mr Corbyn said: "Tomorrow I am meeting officials from the Environment Agency emergency response team in York.

"I will raise with them why they have failed to deploy these brand new pumps that looks as if they could have helped significantly in alleviating some of the worst impacts of the floods in the north of England."

Labour's criticism comes from an October Environment Agency report in which it says it had bought "10 one cubic metre per second capacity high volume pumps, which have now been received and are being stored at Bradney Depot in Bridgwater, Somerset".

Mr Corbyn's visit to the North comes three days after Prime Minister David Cameron visited York and defended flood prevention funding.

The chairman of the Environment Agency (EA) Sir Philip Dilley earlier visited flood victims in Yorkshire, after he returned from a Christmas holiday to Barbados amid criticism at the timing of his break during some of the worst storms in decades.

In Scotland 12 people including two children were rescued from a bus after it was stranded in flood water as Storm Frank swept across Scotland.

Ten passengers were airlifted by a Royal Navy helicopter from the vehicle when it became stuck in Dailly, South Ayrshire, at about 1.35pm on Wednesday.

A further two people were taken off the bus by officers from Police Scotland's marine unit.