Holidaymakers in Wales airlifted from caravan park as a torrent of mud and water caused by June monsoon rages through the site and local shops in the early hours (and even the rescue boat had to be saved by the RAF)
- Double the average monthly rain pours down in just 24 hours in some parts of West Wales
- Four sites near River Lery completely evacuated as rescuers save 150 people
- West Wales was wettest part of UK yesterday and received a month's worth of rain in a single day
- Sea King helicopters, life boats and fire crews all called in following SIX inches of rain
- RNLI rescue have to be saved themselves after becoming stranded during rescue attempt
- Caravan site owner warns that water levels are still rising as coastal area waits for midday high tide
- Stunned holidaymakers tell how flood waters submerged 'everything in their way' after nearby river burst banks
- Met Office issues weather warnings for Wales, south-west England, the Midlands, London and the South East
- Gales claimed life of 18-year-old man yesterday when he was flung from his moped in Lancing, West Sussex
- 'European monsoon' set to continue into next week with unsettled weather set to last at least a fortnight
Around 150 holidaymakers have been rescued from a flooded riverside caravan park today after double the average monthly rainfall for some parts of West Wales tipped down in just 24 hours.
Dozens of people had to be saved from torrents of overnight rain in Aberystwyth, with many airlifted to safety due to the deluge of water. Nearby Trawscoed had 87.4mm of rain yesterday, its monthly average is 78.5mm.Paul Mott, senior forecaster with MeteoGroup, said in the 24 hours to 7am today even more - an incredible 150mm (or 6in) - fell in the hills of central and eastern Ceredigion.
Issued by the Ministry of Defence, these pictures show an RAF Valley Sea King from C Flight of No 22 Squadron rescuing four members of the Borth Lifeboat team after their inflatable boat had become caught by debris during severe flooding
Just beyond the shallow waters shown in this photograph was a fast-flowing newly-created river which prevented the four man volunteer team from reaching safety
RAF Winchman Sergeant Dickie Myers, ensured that all four RNLI crewmen were transferred to safety by using the Sea King helicopter's winching capabilityHe said the average amount of rain for the whole month of June in that area is nearer just under three inches or (70mm).
'That's what's caused the problem, all the rainwater has funnelled into the rivers, causing flooding in river valleys,' he said.
Royal Air Force Sea King helicopters, inshore life boats and fire service rescue boats were called to the Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre, Bow Street, near Aberystwyth, one of the most severely-affected sites where 'numerous people' needed help.
The monsoon-like rainfall which has swept across parts of Britain in the past week is set to continue for most of the weekend, as forecasters predicted thundery showers in what is becoming a soggy summer.
Submerged: The Riverside Caravan Park is turned into a 'river' at the peak of flooding early this morning, as torrents of water raged through the site
Rescue: Life boats reach the corner of the caravan park, where torrential waters have partly-submerged cars and reached half-way up some of the holiday homes
Two cars are almost washed away as water levels reached several feet high this morning on the Welsh site
Soggy summer: Another caravan has its entire base and large parts of its exterior covered in muddy water thanks to the overnight deluge
Dramatic scenes even saw an RNLI rescue crew require airlifting themselves, after becoming stranded while attempting to save others from the torrents of water.
Holidaymakers have been pulled to safety this morning due to a 'heavy current of water running through the caravan park', according to the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.
Wrecked: The stairway up to a static home is left pulled from its base as the flood waters eventually subsided into pools of grime early this afternoon
Disastrous: An aerial image taken from above the Riverside Caravan Park shows the number of static homes which endured the barrage of water, while right, a breakdown truck was also caught out
In trouble: This row of caravans and tents also took a battering from the weather, as huge swathes of water surrounding the park
The scene at Riverside Caravan Park in Llandre, after swollen waters breached the banks of the River Lery
The flooded gardens of residential properties in Machynlleth in Powys, Wales
The flooding in West Wales spread to more populated parts of Aberystwyth today, as this Morrisons supermarket was flooded this morning, trapping staff inside
Weather warning: An ill-judged supermarket cone appears to tellmany people outside the Morrisons supermarket what they knew already
Katie Hughes, who had been in a caravan with her young children, told Sky News today: 'The first we knew about it was at about 3.40am when we were woken up.
'There was water everywhere and parts of the caravan were almost completely underwater.
'I've never seen anything like this but everyone is pulling together. It is the entire caravan park that has become on big river.
'The water has come from the side of the river and has just taken everything in its way.'
The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said Milford Haven Coastguard were contacted by Dyfed Powys police at 4.30am requesting assistance at a caravan park at the side of the River Lery near Borth.
Chief Inspector Robin Mason, of Dyfed Powys Police, said it was difficult to give an exact number of those rescued, but said he was 'aware of about 30 to 40 people evacuated from various places' and there were 'probably more'.
Stephen South, the owner of the Riverside Caravan Park, told how a crew from the Royal National Lifeboat Institution had attempted to evacuate residents, but ended up having to be airlifted themselves.
Mr South told the Daily Telegraph that an RAF Sea King helicopter which had been airlifting residents from static homes also had to save the inshore lifeboat crew.
He said: 'At 2am the river that runs alongside the site breached the banks. It gradually got worse and we have been evacuating people ever since.
'They launched the life boat to get people but the force of the water swept the lifeboat into one of the buildings.
'The last people to be rescued were the lifeboat crew.'
He told the BBC: 'When caravan parks have about 2ft of water, people have been able to make their own way in an orderly manner.
'Since dawn, a lot of people have decided to leave by their own accord.'
He said some people were trapped in buildings, but added: 'However, they are upstairs.
'We have emergency rescue teams in the area with inflatables and we are in the process of evacuating people.'
Aberystwyth and Borth Coastguard rescue teams were called out as well as the Borth RNLI inshore lifeboat.
The statement added there was concern for others at other caravan parks further down the river and coastguard rescue teams were deployed to them.
George Crumpler, Cambrian sector manager, said: 'We responded to the request for assistance and are evacuating those at risk with the help of the other emergency services.'
RAF search and rescue crew member Sergeant Dickie Myers told Sky News: 'We were airborne just after five o'clock, we were told there were floods in the area.
'We saw the river was fairly swollen, the water level was above car levels in some places, and up to the windows of static caravans.
'Thankfully there was an on scene coordinator from the coastguard.
'We did all we could, and when we left the area we felt we'd helped everybody that we could.'
Resident Sam Ebenezer, in Talybont, told the BBC: 'The amount of water is just amazing, it's flowing from higher ground, incredible scenes, it's devastating seeing close friends' housing being soaked all the way through.
'The fire crews have done an amazing job.
'Older residents are saying that in 60 years they've never seen the river as high as this. I think it's high tide at around 12 o'clock, we're hoping that's not going to make more mess.'
Wading in: A pair or residents in Aberystwyth struggle in waist-high waters in West Wales after the River Rheidol burst its banks over the weekend
The village of Talybont Ceredigion in West Wales also suffered today after the River Lery became rose by over eight feet
Abandoned rescue: A breakdown truck is itself left stranded in murky waters which went half way up its doors
Washout: A man walks through a flooded street in Ceredigion, as a deluge of overnight water hit West Wales.
Fighting the tide: Fire crews survey the scene in Ceredigion as flood waters engulf one of the main streets.
Making a splash: Elsewhere, Two bike riders narrowly avoid a soaking as a nearby motorist negotiates a partially-flooded road in Scropton, Derbyshire, today
Monster: A huge wave crashes against the lighthouse at Porthcawl, South Wales as gale force winds are predicted to reach up to 80mph
Running for cover: A sodden girl runs through the water left by crashing waves at Southsea, Portsmouth
Silly move: A man gets a drenching after standing on the sea wall at Southsea, left, while right, two men, brace the rain to jog along the front