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Yorkshire Dales flash flooding: Roads shut and bridge collapses

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Media captionRoads have been washed away by the downpours

Roads have been left impassable and a bridge has collapsed as flash flooding hit part of North Yorkshire.

Routes around some towns in the Yorkshire Dales remain shut as 50mm of rain fell in about an hour.

The Environment Agency said downpours left a flood warning in place for Arkle Beck at Reeth and Low Fremington.

A man and woman who were stranded 100ft up a cliff clinging on “by their fingernails” were rescued, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency said.

The pair became stranded at Filey Brigg at about 16:00 BST on Tuesday as they tried to climb the cliff to escape the tide, which cut them off as they walked along a beach.

Image copyright Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team
Image caption Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team posted a picture of a collapsed bridge

Matt Atkinson, from HM Coastguard, said: “The man and woman were clinging on by their fingernails so we knew that we had to act fast.

“Once the teams knew that the man and woman were not going to fall, they were able to slowly bring them up the other 50ft of the cliffs to the top.

“They were checked over at the top and are safe and well.”

‘No way out’

Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team posted a picture of a collapsed bridge in Grinton on Facebook, urging motorists to “only travel if essential as many routes impassable” due to flooding.

Leonie Garrard, who runs a clothing and interiors shop in Leyburn, said “torrential rain” had caused water to come through the ceiling and left the town “cut off”.

“I have never seen [anything like] this in my whole life. It has been horrendous. There’s pubs with cellars overflowing, roads have been blocked.

“There is more or less no way out of Leyburn at the moment.”

Image copyright Cheryl Corbett
Image caption Water flowed through the streets after heavy thunderstorms were followed by hail

Josie Beszant, who owns an art gallery in the town of Masham, said: “It was a very sudden and extremely heavy thunderstorm.

“Silver Street was flash flooded and fire engines came to pump it out. The gardens are pretty devastated. It just looks absolutely drenched.”

‘Disruption and long detours’

By Danny Savage, North of England correspondent

Travel conditions across the northern part of the Yorkshire Dales have been described by police as “shocking”.

The main road along Swaledale linking Richmond and villages including Reeth and Keld has been washed away near Grinton.

Another road from Grinton over to Leyburn now has a gaping hole where for years there’s been a bridge over a stream.

A violent hail and rain storm further west caused a landslide to block the main settle to Carlisle railway line between Kirkby Stephen and Garsdale.

With it being peak tourist season in the Yorkshire Dales, the damage will cause disruption and potentially long detours for both visitors and residents living over a wide area.

Image copyright Cheryl Corbett

A farmer in the area, Andrew Loftus, said he had seen hailstones almost an inch (2.5cm) in diameter.

Gareth Walls, from Ripon, tweeted that they were “like pickled onions”.

The Met Office said Malham Tarn had 82.2mm of rain in 24 hours, the majority in the space of four hours.

The monthly average in the area for this time of year is 89mm.

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