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'Immense' volume of water washes away sailing channel

The volume of water being pumped from the flood-hit River Steeping into the sea has caused a marked channel used by sailors to wash away.

Gibraltar Point
Google

Michael Clark, president of the Gibraltar Point Sailing Club, said the floating buoys and standing posts used by sailors to gain entry and to exit Gibraltar Point (pictured) had now disappeared.

He said: "The local lifeboat has been informed because it sometimes uses the channel to bring boats in for refuge and the coastguard has also been informed.

"But it's really to make Wash sailors in Lincolnshire and Norfolk aware that currently the channel is not navigable."

Mr Clark said the club had marked the channel for decades.

No boats have been damaged, but it could be some time before the channel is remarked.

Lincolnshire residents urged to limit water use

People in Lincolnshire are being urged by the region's water company to limit their use of showers, dishwashers and washing machines while the county continues to be affected by flooding:

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Engineers working on permanent repair to damaged bank

More than 225 Olympic-sized swimming pools' worth of water was pumped out of flood-hit Wainfleet and into the sea in one night, the Environment Agency has confirmed.

Pump
Lincolnshire Police

Two high-volume pumps have been deployed at Wainfleet, which can pump five swimming pools' worth of water away from the town every hour.

In its latest update, the Environment Agency (EA) said the picture in the town was currently improving, with the breach repair on the River Steeping holding and river levels slowly dropping.

Engineers are working on the best option for a permanent repair to the damaged bank, according to the agency, but getting equipment and materials to the area has been difficult.

Over the weekend, EA staff have been considering engineering options and sourcing supplies.

Staff at the agency continue to monitor the weather conditions as the Met Office is forecasting thunderstorms.

Breach in River Steeping 'not caused by badgers'

A breach in the River Steeping responsible for flooding scores of homes in Wainfleet was not caused by badgers, the Environment Agency has said.

River Steeping
Press Association

Former county councillor Chris Pain has repeated claims the breach had been caused by burrowing badgers and in February 2016 Matt Warman, MP for Boston and Skegness, blamed the animals for damaging flood defences.

But a spokesman for the Environment Agency said: "The breach in this flood bank was not caused by badgers. The banks were put under extraordinary pressure because of the extreme amount of rainfall.”

He said they have a procedure for relocating badgers that do burrow in to river banks and work closely with Natural England to ensure they do not breach laws around interfering with badger setts.

Image shows current flood situation in Wainfleet

This image, tweeted by Ch Insp Phil Vickers, shows the location of the Environment Agency's high volume pump and the pumping station set up to tackle the flooding in Wainfleet:

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Earlier, the Environment Agency said it had already "shifted 225 Olympic-sized swimming pools' worth of water".

Wainfleet airspace restriction lifted

An emergency airspace restriction over flood-hit Wainfleet and Thorpe Saint Peters - aimed particularly at drone users - has now been lifted, police say:

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Buses replacing trains between Boston and Skegness

Rail passengers are being reminded the line between Boston and Skegness remains closed due to flooding.

Flooded railway
East Midlands Trains

East Midlands Trains say the line will not reopen before tomorrow at the earliest.

A rail replacement bus service is currently running between Boston and Skegness.

Police say water level has dropped by 11cm

Water levels in the flood-hit town of Wainfleet have dropped by about 11cm, according to Lincolnshire Police.

Floods in Wainfleet
Press Association

Nearly 600 homes have been evacuated in the area and it is not yet known when residents will be able to return.

Ch Insp Phil Vickers said although it was good news further heavy rain is forecast over the coming days.

"Over a period of five to six hours the water levels that we are measuring at different points around Wainfleet have dropped by about 11cm," he said.

"That's actually better than we were anticipating so that's really positive.

"The bank that was repaired by the RAF last week is still holding, but there is still a crack within it which causes us some concern and is a risk.

"The weather forecast for Tuesday going in to Wednesday is not good but if we can keep reducing those water levels and keep the community updated then that will be successful for us."

Watch: Drone footage captures extent of flooding

Drone footage released by Lincolnshire Police this morning shows the extent of the flooding in Wainfleet:

Two flood warnings lifted in Lincolnshire

Just two flood warnings now remain in place in Lincolnshire after two were lifted this morning:

The areas currently affected are:

Flood warnings mean flooding is expected and immediate action is required

Flooded house
PA

River Steeping 'defences holding and water level dropping'

Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West of Lincolnshire Police has tweeted to say that efforts to prevent further flooding in Wainfleet are taking effect:

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More than 340 tonnes of ballast have been dropped by RAF helicopters to shore up a breach in the wall of the River Steeping after it burst its banks on Wednesday.

High-volume pumps have also been deployed by the Environment Agency to move the water away from the local area and in to the catchment area for the River Haven near Boston.

However, Mr West said more rain is expected on Tuesday and Wednesday and the MET Office has issued a yellow weather warning:

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Flood warnings remain in place in Lincolnshire

Four flood warnings remain in place across Lincolnshire.

Flood warnings map
Flood information service

Flood warnings - shown in red above - are issued when flooding is expected and immediate action is required.

The areas currently affected are:

Flooding in Lincolnshire: Latest updates

For live updates on flooding in Lincolnshire please click here:

Lincolnshire flooding: What we know now

With flooding continuing in parts of Lincolnshire this Monday morning, here's what we now know:

  • The River Steeping burst its banks on Wednesday after two months' worth of rain fell in two days
  • Almost 600 properties in Wainfleet have been evacuated
  • More than 340 tonnes of ballast dropped by RAF Chinooks to shore up breach in river bank
  • Four flood alerts remain in place across Lincolnshire
  • Flood victims being warned they may be unable to return home before Friday
  • High volume pumps are being used to lower water levels
  • People in Wainfleet asked to limit use of toilets and showers due to reduced capacity
  • Rest centre set up at Coronation Hall, in Wainfleet, for those unable to return home
Flooded home, Wainfleet
PA
RAF Chinook helicopters use 270 tonnes of ballast to plug a gap in a Lincolnshire river.
Three Chinooks dropped bags of aggregate to repair the bank of the River Steeping in Wainfleet.

In summary: Wainfleet floods

We're wrapping up our live coverage of today's events in Wainfleet where scores of homes have been evacuated after the River Steeping burst its banks.

Here are the latest headlines:

  • Around 70 homes in the town evacuated
  • RAF helicopters drop 100 tonnes of sand to block breach
  • Operation to shore-up River Steeping declared a "success"
  • Four flood warnings remain in force across the county
  • Emergency services remain in Wainfleet to support community
  • 132 people working on incident and three high volume pumps in use
  • Residents urged not to return home until told it is safe to do so
  • Boston-Skegness rail service suspended until at least Tuesday

Birds eye view of flooded Wainfleet
BBC

Flood gear goes to help storm-hit eastern counties

The Environment Agency keeps some of the country's most powerful portable flood defences in Cumbria, but when the rain falls somewhere else, it goes where it is needed most.

It has barely stopped raining for a week in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, and a burst dyke cause serious flooding in some areas.

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Wainfleet flooding: RAF helicopter operation 'a success'

A helicopter operation to stop water flooding out of a Lincolnshire river has been hailed a success.

Helicopter dropping sand bags
BBC

More than 100 tonnes of ballast and sand have been dropped into a breach in the River Steeping since it burst its banks on Wednesday, flooding scores of homes in nearby Wainfleet.

Ian Reed, the Head of Emergency Planning in Lincolnshire, said: "We're confident that we are definitely seeing a change and, whilst water levels are not going to go down really quickly, it is helping and it's doing exactly what we wanted it to do.

"So, that operation has been a success.

"It's a temporary measure but it's doing what it set out to achieve."

He said he hoped the operation would be completed by 18:00 this evening.

Emergency services go 'above and beyond' in Wainfleet

A couple from Wainfleet have been handing out food and drink to emergency workers tackling flooding in the town.

Glen and Jane Bauckham
BBC

Glen and Jane Bauckham have avoided the worst of the flooding but said they wanted to thank those who have been drafted in to help.

Today they've been handing out food to firefighters who have been pumping water from their street.

Mr Bauckham said: "We brought them coffee and toast and paracetamol, as some weren't feeling good.

"The emergency services are doing their best and they're really good. It's really appreciated."

Mrs Bauckham added: "We've never been in this situation before. I've been here most of my life and this hasn't happened before. It's brought the community together."

Comfort food arrives in Wainfleet for flood-hit residents

Serious flooding in Wainfleet has sparked a string of offers of help for people affected/

Rafal Dzewiecki
BBC

Rafal Dzewiecki, a butcher from Skegness, has arrived in the town to hand out free baps.

Fall in number of Lincolnshire flood warnings

The number of flood warnings in Lincolnshire has been reduced from six to five as conditions improve, the Environment Agency has said.

Flood at Wainfleet
Joe Giddens/PA Wire

However, people across the county - and especially in flood-hit areas - are being warned to "remain vigilant and avoid swollen rivers and driving through standing water".

The current warnings are for:

  • River Steeping in Wainfleet All Saints (pictured)
  • Isolated properties and villages near the Great Eau, Long Eau and Woldgrift Drain
  • River Bain and Haltham Beck in Haltham and Kirkby on Bain
  • Areas near the East and West Fen Catchwater and the Maud Foster Drain
  • Great Steeping and Firsby

Drones search for second river breach in Lincolnshire

Police drones have arrived in Wainfleet to help with the severe flooding in the town.

They're searching for a second suspected breach in the River Steeping.

Police with drones
BBC

Meanwhile, an RAF helicopter is dropping tonnes of sand and ballast in an effort to stem the flow.

About 100 homes have been evacuated after a state of emergency was declared last night.

Watch: Drone footage shows extent of flooding on railway

East Midlands Trains have cancelled all rail services between Boston and Skegness until at least Tuesday due to flooding.

This footage, taken by Twitter user @dronemanuk, shows just how badly affected the line is:

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Power cut affects properties in flood-hit Wainfleet

Residents in part of Wainfleet are without power this morning after flooding at a substation in the town.

Flooding in Wainfleet
Lincolnshire Police Drones

A "major incident" was declared in the town yesterday evening after an estimated two months of rain fell in just two days in the area.

The streets affected by the power cut are are Matt Pit Lane and Matt Pit Court.

According to Lincolnshire Police, these properties could be without power until this afternoon.

Western Power engineers were in the area from about 08:00 checking on properties and work is ongoing at the affected electricity substation, police say.

Flood-hit rail line closed until Tuesday at earliest

Problems on the Boston-Skegness rail route are set to continue into next week, according to East Midlands Train.

It comes after the line was affected by flooding over the past couple of days:

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Big task facing RAF crews

Here's a picture taken around 30 minutes ago showing the breach in the bank of the River Steeping near Wainfleet.

River Steeping breach
Kurnia Aerial Photography

An RAF Chinook helicopter is resuming efforts to drop bags of ballast to block the gap - but it looks like there's a lot of work to do.

In pictures: RAF river breach operation under way

This was the scene near Wainfleet last night as RAF teams and a Chinook helicopter started an operation to drop sandbags and ballast in a bid to stem a breach in the River Steeping.

RAF teams
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue

The breach has led to flooding in the town, with about 70 properties currently evacuated and local residents moved to a rest centre in Skegness for the night.

Chinook
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue

The copter operation is currently about a quarter complete, according to Lincolnshire Fire Service, with work starting again at 09:00 this morning.

RAF teams and Chinook
Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue

'Early signs of success' stemming breach - Police boss

One of Lincolnshire's top police officers has said while he's "gravely concerned" about a breach in the River Steeping which has led to flooding in Wainfleet, he's confident they are on top of the situation.

Chinook over flooding
Lincolnshire Police/PA Wire

A "major incident" was declared in the town yesterday evening and firefighters and RAF crews using a Chinook helicopter have since been working to bring the breach under control.

Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West said there have been "early signs of success", with the operation due to continue this morning.

He said: "Where there were thousands of gallons of water gushing through that breach when I started. That is starting to stem. We need to stem the flow and plug that breach."

About 50 firefighters from across the UK, but predominantly from Lincolnshire, are involved in dealing with flooding across the county, the Assistant Chief Constable confirmed.

He said: "This is a really challenging situation. We're well-practiced at flooding, but we are on it and we'll be on it until we're able to confidently safeguard the residents of Lincolnshire."

Flood-hit roads re-open, rail services still affected

Several roads in Lincolnshire which have been closed by flooding for the past day are now open again - or at least useable with due care, according to the police:

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However, if you're planning to travel by rail between Boston and Skegness this morning, be aware that train services are still being replaced by buses.

Tortoise home and dry - sort of

Remember Jean Hart from yesterday?

Her home was wrecked by flooding in Wainfleet but she was most worried about her tortoise Mr T and cat Aurora.

Tortoise
BBC

She was reunited with the cat yesterday, and here she is this morning, with Mr T, who looks none the worse for his flooding ordeal.

jean's toilet
BBC

Jean and her husband Kevin are still counting the cost of the damage to their home, above, and say they will be in temporary accommodation, along with their pets, for the foreseeable future.

Tap water 'absolutely fine' in flood-hit areas

Drinking water in areas of Lincolnshire hit by flooding is safe to consume, according to Anglian Water.

Tap
Science Photo Library

Several areas of the county have been hit by flooding after an estimated two months' worth of rain fell in just two days.

Regan Harris, from Anglian, says while some local residents have said they're worried about their tap water, there's no reason why people in flood-hit areas shouldn't use their taps.

"All our water supplies across any areas affected by the flooding across Lincolnshire are absolutely fine. Please continue to use your tapwater as normal.

"What we are seeing in some patches where we've had some flooding is trouble with people using their toilets and things like that because our network is so full of rainwater.

"So in certain areas there are alternative toilet facilities available which people can use if they need to."

River Steeping breech op 'quarter completed'

Work to stem the flow of water at a breach in the River Steeping in Wainfleet is currently about a "quarter completed", according to the fire service.

An RAF Chinook helicopter has been used to help the operation carrying ballast and sandbags to the site - an operation which carried on into the night.

Karl Foxall, watch manager with Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "That's going to commence again at 09:00 this morning.

"The water levels currently haven't changed but we have brought in four high-volume pumps and they're currently at Gibraltar Point."

The equivalent of two months' rain had fallen in the area in two days, according to Lincolnshire County Council.

Operation continues to stem River Steeping breach

The RAF and emergency services have worked through the night airlifting sandbags into place to block a breach in the River Steeping at Wainfleet.

Helicopter taking off to take sandbags to Wainfleet
Alan Middleton

Last night, a "major incident" was declared in the area after the river had earlier broken its banks.

Aerial view of flooding around Wainfleet
@Richardesty/Twitter

About 70 properties have been evacuated, with local residents moved to a rest centre at nearby Skegness for the night.

Work is due to resume this morning on blocking the breach.

All the latest updates on Friday 14 June 2019

For the very latest updates on the current flooding situation in Lincolnshire on Friday 14 June 2019, please click here.

And keep listening to BBC Radio Lincolnshire for up-to-date information.

Lincolnshire flooding: What we know now

Flooding
@Richardesty

With flooding continuing in parts of Lincolnshire this Friday morning, here's what we know now:

  • "Major incident" declared for Wainfleet last night after River Steeping burst banks
  • "Phased evacuation" of about 70 homes in the town
  • Rest centre for Wainfleet residents set up in nearby Skegness
  • RAF Chinook helicopters drop ballast overnight to try and block the breach
  • Seven flood warnings remain in place across Lincolnshire this morning
  • Weather forecasts suggest worst of the rain may have passed
  • Water levels will take some time to subside, Environment Agency warns

Continued coverage on BBC Radio Lincolnshire

The team at Radio Lincolnshire are providing more coverage of the operation at Wainfleet.

They are on air with a special programme until midnight bringing you all the latest updates from the scene.

Stay safe and we will bring you more updates online from around 06:30 on Friday morning.

Helicopters through the night

Lincolnshire Police have said they expect the helicopter operation to strengthen the banks of the River Steeping to go on into the night.

Temporary Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West asked residents in Wainfleet to remain in their homes if they have not been evacuated to ensure the RAF could go about their work.

He added: "It’s going to take some time so I apologise for the sound of helicopters through the night"

"Frankly without the support of Fire and Rescue and without the support of Royal Air Force we would struggle to otherwise find a fix for this and return Wainfleet to where it needs to be."

Families leave flooded Wainfleet

The advice from Lincolnshire Police is to take all members of your family with you if you have been advised to leave your home because of the risk of flooding.

People in a digger bucket
BBC

Please take pets with you, the rest centre at Skegness can accommodate those, already I’m hearing about a bird, a cat and a dog so again they will be in good company. The prospect of returning tonight will be a difficult one so please take essential items so that you can carry on with your lives.

Temp Asst Ch Cons Shaun WestLincolnshire Police

Police explained 'two pronged' flood operation

BBC Look North

East Yorkshire and Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire Police's Shaun West has explained to viewers of Look North what's happening in the operation in Wainfleet.

Temp Asst Ch Cons West said there were two approaches being taken with the first being the "phased evacuation" of three streets.

He also explained the second approach, which is the RAF dropping bags of ballast to stem the water in the area where the River Steeping burst its banks.

Drone footage of flooding shows wider picture

This drone footage from Chris Dower shows the scale of the water around Wainfleet.

Health advice for those in flooded areas

Lincolnshire Partnership NHS have shared a helpful guide on how to stay safe when near or in flood water.

NHS flooding health advice
NHS

Rescue operation in Wainfleet

Paul Murphy

BBC Look North

I'm in Wainfleet speaking to people and seeing how the emergency services are battling against the flood waters.

You can see below residents, complete with cat, being moved from a flooded area to drier land.