Storm Desmond: North East and Cumbria flood warnings

Firefighters waist high in Appleby
Image caption The River Eden burst its banks, causing flooding in Appleby

The Environment Agency has issued 17 severe flood warnings in the North East and Cumbria, meaning the weather could pose a danger to life .

Homes have been flooded and roads shut after the River Eden burst its banks in Appleby. Flooding has also started in Corbridge and Hexham, Northumberland, and Sedbergh, in Cumbria.

Eleven of the severe warnings are for the River Greta in Keswick.

More than 30 other flood warnings are in place in the North East and Cumbria.

Following our live page for the latest updates across the North East and Cumbria.

Forecasters are predicting more rain later and throughout Sunday.

Fire crews are visiting flooded homes in Appleby to check residents are safe.

In Sedbergh, resident Lester Close said the flooding was the highest he had seen in 54 years living there.

He said: "There's just more and more water pouring down the road, it's horrendous all over.

"Not many roads will be passable now."

According to an Environment Agency gauge on the River Kent in Cumbria, the water is 12in (30cm) higher than in 2010, the previous record.

Image caption Two severe warnings and more than 30 red alerts for flooding have been issued across the North East and Cumbria

The Environment Agency said about 60 homes in low-lying parts of Corbridge were expected to be flooded with some already affected.

A spokesman said: "If you are caught in a flash flood, get to higher ground. Stay away from floodwater and don't take risks."

He urged people in the affected areas to move their family, pets and valuables to a safe place.

He added: "Heavy rain is currently falling in the Tyne Catchment and will continue throughout Saturday.

"River levels on the River Tyne are rising and are expected to rise through the day."

The spokesman said some homes in Well Bank had already flooded and the agency expected water to reach the top of the floodwall at the Stanners later.

Northumbria Police said they have also received reports of flooding in parts of Hexham.

Supt Geoff Logan said: "We are working closely with the other emergency services and partner agencies to plan and respond to flooding."

Image caption The A684 outside Sedbergh on the way to Kendal has also seen flooding

Premises along the River Wear in lower Stanhope in Weardale are also being warned of an imminent flood risk.

Warnings are also in place for the River Tees at Hurworth Place, Newbus Grange and Low Dinsdale after a night of heavy rain fall has swollen the river.

Flood gates at Yarm and Croft have been closed this morning.

Flooding has closed the A591 in Cumbria in both directions between Ambleside and Windermere, and the A6 is closed at Plumpton.

Several events have also been cancelled including the Newcastle Christmas Market.

Image caption Emergency services have been visiting homes in Appleby to ensure residents are safe

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