TICKER: The house that sailed away: Back half of property collapses into a river and is washed away in floods (See Photos)

Heavy rainfall causes house to collapse

This dramatic image shows the devastating impact that the latest heavy summer rainfall has had on the UK.

One whole side of a four-storey house tumbled into a swollen river before being washed downstream as a result of the heavy storms that blighted the Bank Holiday weekend.

The alarm was raised just after 6am this morning when residents of Vale View in Egremont, Cumbria, were woken by a loud rumble and a splash.

They were shocked when they realised the back of the property, which was empty, had crashed into the River Ehen.

Owners of the house, Ken O’Hara and Belinda Taylor, were alerted by the police earlier today and have been trying to salvage what they can from the property.

Luckily, they had been staying in the Black Beck hotel, Egremont, which they also own, when their property collapsed into the river.

Mr O’Hara said: ‘I could not believe it when the police told me, it is completely unbelievable.

Heavy rainfall causes house to collapse

‘It just shows what can happen. Luckily there was no-one in at the time it happened. It would have been awful if there were.’

He said the top two floors of the four-storey home were rented out to Sellafield workers, who were also not there last night as they had been away for the Bank Holiday.

The couple, who live in the bottom two floors, stood watching helplessly as their possessions were battered by raging waters.

They salvaged what they could, building a pile by the water’s edge.

Police and ambulance crews cordoned off the road as there were fears that more of the houses could collapse at any time. Some homes have been evacuated.

Inspector Phil Davidson, at the force’s HQ in Penrith, said several officers were at the scene, along with a fire crew, and officials from the Environment Agency.

Heavy rainfall causes house to collapse

House collapses into river

Inspector Davidson said: ‘The early indications are that this house has been affected by flooding, as it backs on to a weir on the River Ehen.’

Engineers are investigating because of concerns about the electric supply and the possibility of a gas leak.

He added: ‘We are now trying to determine whether we need a wider scale evacuation of the area.

‘The house involved appears to have been an end terraced property, so there may be the potential for one or even more than one other property to be affected.’

Inspector Davidson confirmed that there have been no casualties reported.

Laura Travers, of the Environment Agency, said part of a property has been washed downstream.

She added: ‘At present we are liaising with other services, including United Utilities and giving advice on flood risk at the site.’

The agency has a live flood alert issued for the Ehen, warning of a general risk of flooding due to the heavy rain. Several Cumbrian rivers are currently on flood alert.

The agency said that the River Ehen was put on flood alert at 10.30am on Monday but its level never reached a height sufficient to trigger a flood warning.

The Ehen’s average height in recent weeks has been 06.99 metres but at its peak during the last 24 hours it reached 2.094 metres.

A flood warning is triggered when it reaches 2.2 metres. The river’s level is now falling.

Heavy rainfall forces house to collapse

The collapsed house in Egremont

Daily Mail

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