Floods in Britain prompt emergency government talks
Britain's government was holding emergency talks Sunday as flooding in northern England forced hundreds of people to leave their homes, including in the historic tourist destination of York.
Prime Minister David Cameron will chair a call of the COBRA emergency committee as the floods cause chaos for families during the Christmas holiday season.
Hundreds of flood warnings are in place around the country, with 31 of them severe, signalling a risk to life.
More rain is expected in the area Sunday although the downpours are not expected to be as severe as on Saturday.
Environment Secretary Liz Truss told the BBC that the amount of rain had been "unprecedented".
"We're still in a situation with major flood warnings. People need to look at the latest advice from the Environment Agency, from the emergency services," she added.
"That's really important because in many places we have not yet reached the high point."
Police have advised up to 400 people to evacuate their homes and move possessions to the upper floors of their homes near rivers in York.
Hundreds of people have also been evacuated from other parts of Yorkshire and Lancashire and the army has been drafted in to help with the flood response.
Over 7,000 homes in Greater Manchester and Lancashire were also without electricity due to flood damage.
With its cobbled streets and timbered buildings, York is one of Britain's top tourist attractions.
It has a rich history dating back to Roman times and is home to one of Europe's finest cathedrals, which is about 800 years old.
Lisa Pallister, 36, decided to leave her home in York with her family as flood waters rose.
"We didn't think it would reach us because we're raised off the ground and have three storeys but, by this morning, it was on the steps and it is going to rise by lunchtime. So we had a boat ride out," she said.
© 2015 AFP