More than 1,000 Brits face Christmas Eve evacuations over mass flooding fears

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A huge emergency operation is set to take place this Christmas Eve to get more than 1,000 people trapped in a flooded caravan park to safety.

Northamptonshire Police have confirmed that flood waters up to five feet deep have wreaked havoc after hours of heavy rain in the area.

They tweeted: "Emergency services are preparing to evacuate more than 1,000 people from 500 caravans on the Billing Aquadrome holiday park in Northampton.

"Heavy rains in Northamptonshire have left wide areas of county hit by flooding and water is as much as 5ft deep in places.

"Preparations are under way to move the occupants as the night closes in, with freezing temperatures expected in the early hours.

"Some residents have presented with hypothermia. Emergency accommodation is being sourced in at least two leisure centres in Northampton."

Residents being moved were assured that Covid restrictions would not be enforced while the floods were ongoing.

Coronavirus means that it is currently illegal for most people in the UK to mix with other households.

Chief Supt Mick Stamper, of Northamptonshire Police, added: “Residents are urged to leave the site immediately and seek accommodation with family or friends where possible.

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"Anyone worried that this may be put them in breach of Covid-19 regulations should be assured these are exceptional circumstances and they will be exempt.

"We would, however, urge people not to go to homes where people are shielding or self-isolating as a result of Covid.

"This is an exceptionally challenging situation and emergency services are working with partners & volunteers."

The news comes as the Met Office issued a "risk to life" warning for Boxing Day, when Storm Bella is set to batter the UK.

A relatively calm Christmas Day is set to give way to strong gusts of winds up to 80mph and rain by December 26.

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