River taxi: Driver caught out as floods hit the North following rain, gales . . . and even a tornado
Last updated at 12:25 PM on 30th November 2011
Sitting atop his taxi surrounded by flood waters, this man was one of hundreds caught out as Scotland, northern England and Northern Ireland were hit by heavy rain yesterday.
This scene was captured in a car park in Greenock, Scotland as some parts of Scotland were battered by a fortnight's rain in just 24-hours.
The deluges forced roads to close and train cancellations, while several schools were forced to close due to the rising waters.
Stranded: A man sits atop his taxi in Greenock, Scotland after heavy rain caught him unawares
Devastation: The scene in Heaton Moor, Stockport, Greater Manchester where a mini tornado struck today
Fireman study the debris left by a fallen chimney that injured a pensioner after a cloud-burst and sudden strong winds hit the Heaton Moor at around 2.25pm today
Elsewhere, an elderly woman was rushed to hospital after being injured by what was described as a 'tornado' which ripped through a northern suburb.
A shop window was smashed by debris and two trees toppled in the Heaton Moor area of Stockport, Greater Manchester, after a cloud-burst and sudden strong winds hit the area at around 2pm yesterday.
Firemen were called and an 84-year-old woman was treated by paramedics, then taken to hospital suffering from cuts and bruises.
It is thought she was hit by debris from a falling chimney, a spokesman for Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service said. No other injuries were reported.
The spokesman said the damage was localised and firemen were at the scene to secure the area underneath the chimney.
Dave Ashton, 38, from Heaton Mersey, was in his computer shop at Moor Top on Heaton Moor Lane when he witnessed what appeared to be a 'brief tornado'.
'It went almost pitch black,' he told BBC Online. 'The wind suddenly turned up about 20 notches to the point when it became quite frightening.
'It felt like you were in the middle of a hurricane and then it all died down and outside you could just hear car alarms.'
Staff clean up glass shattered by debris hitting a shop window
Communities across northern parts of the UK were fighting freak weather conditions today, as the wet winter weather brought trees down, floods and torrents of water cascading across several areas.
In Yorkshire, a seaside town was deluged after 'freakish circumstances' brought water pouring into streets, flooding shops and businesses.
In Scotland, schoolchildren had to be evacuated from their primary school amid rapidly rising waters after a burn burst its banks as heavy rain fell.
And in Northern Ireland, heavy rain disrupted morning traffic with high winds bringing down trees, causing chaos for commuters across the province.
As locals climb aboard parked cars for refuge, the reflections from Christmas lights glisten in the floodwaters in the seaside resort of Whitby, north Yorkshire, where high night tides brought a deluge across the streets
High tide and strong winds swept sea water from the harbour into streets in Whitby leaving residents and visitors wading through knee-high water and businesses counting the cost of the damage
High tide and strong winds swept sea water from the harbour into streets in Whitby, North Yorkshire, leaving residents and visitors wading through knee-high water and businesses counting the cost of the damage.
The emergency services were in high demand as police put up barricades at the submerged New Quay Road, diverting cars away from the water-logged streets.
Several shops and businesses suffered from the adverse weather, as the Yorkshire Water pumping station caught fire when water got into its electrics, and a fish and chip shop was forced to lay sandbags to prevent damage.
Steve Dungworth, a regular at the Station pub which is next to the Yorkshire Water station, said: 'The only thing I can think is we have had such strong north easterly winds and it has kept the tide back, but now it has stopped it has pulled it back in.
'It is strange, you need a freakish set of circumstances for this to happen. I have only known it twice, the other time was in 2003.'
Splash: A train passes the sea walls at Dawlish in Devon as the sea battered the coastline yesterday afternoon
Chris Watson, fire station manager at Whitby, said that there had been a warning from the brigade control room that a hgh swell of about six feet was forecast.
'I have been here about 18 months but some lads have been here 10 to 15 years and say they haven't seen it like this for about ten years.'
Elsewhere this afternoon, 27 youngsters had to be rescued from Abington Primary School in Biggar, South Lanarkshire.
The children - along with two teachers - were led through knee-high floodwaters to safety by firefighters from Strathclyde Fire and Rescue.
A car trundles through deep flood water near Bridge of Allan, near Stirling, Scotland, where heavy rain brought torrents of water as streams and rivers burst
The rescue came as central Scotland and the west and south of the country was hit by heavy rain. Roads were closed and trains and buses cancelled in the wake of the floods.
Violent rainstorms blew windows out of offices in Glasgow. Police and fire crews were called to the scene in Finnieston Street in Finnieston at 3.07pm, to cordon off the area and make the area safe.
The building towers over a busy street bustling with shoppers and is attached to an 11 storey block of flats. Local resident Cameron Kerr, 27, said: 'It was quite frightening - window panes were literally falling out of their frames and landing onto the street. I couldn't believe it.
'This is a busy road with lots of people walking by and it's next to a gym, it was very dangerous.'
Parts of Dumfries and Galloway were cut off after nearly four inches rain swamped the region. In Dumfries town centre police had to close off the Whitesands area of town as floodwaters raged down the River Nith.
Council workers stand next to a flooded section of Balmore Road near Glasgow
The river flooded thousands of acres of farmland throughout Dumfriesshire before flooding onto the Whitesands where shopkeepers and businesses were sandbagging their premises.
The car park alongside the river was closed down and motorist had to hastily remove their vehicles. Some had to be towed away as the waters swamped the parking area.
Police closed the road through the 'Sands for much of the day and sections of the A74M Glasgow - Carlisle motorway had to be closed and police have been directing traffic in the south of Strathclyde.
A police spokesman at Dumfries said: 'Many roads across the region are now affected by flooding and motorists are asked to carefully consider whether their journey is really necessary.
'There appears to be no let up in the wind and rain at present and many roads are experiencing flooding, with a number impassible due to the depth of the water.
'Police are working with council roads staff in an effort to clear these roads.'
He added: 'Our officers have been trying to slow down motorway traffic heading north before it reaches Strathclyde. The area should be avoided if at all possible.'
Cars drive through a flooded section of Balmore Road near Glasgow
Strathclyde Fire and Rescue said they had received 151 calls about floods since 7.45 this morning.
The service's Assistant Chief Officer Robert Scott said: 'We are currently dealing with a wide range of flood-related incidents across the Strathclyde region.
'In this particular case I'm pleased to say that, other than some wet feet, no-one was hurt and all the children and teachers were quickly moved by firefighters to a safe location.'
The Met Office has issued severe weather warnings, saying the rain was falling on already wet ground. Hillfoot villages were virtually cut off, with roads linking Menstrie, Alva and Tillicoultry with Alloa all badly affected by floodwater.
Central Scotland Fire and Rescue had to rescue people who were stuck in their cars because of the flooding. One woman was saved from her car in Callandar, and two cars were helped off the A883 near Falkirk. Control room staff said the conditions were 'absolutely horrendous'.
A man walks along the coast road in Carnlough, Co Antrim, during high tide, as heavy rain moves across the province
A wave smashes against the railings at the Carnlough harbour, surprising a man as he wanders past. Heavy rain brought localised flooding to the province today
Heavy rain began yesterday evening in Northern Ireland and grew more heavy overnight, causing havoc for commuters across the province.
Police and Highways Agency officials closed roads in Co Antrim, Co Down and Co Armagh because of the risk posed by torrents of water to motorists.
Gale-force gusts which suddenly hit the region caused further misery for morning travellers as trees were brought down, blocking access to schools and public transport.