HEAVY downpours caused chaos across parts of the Fylde coast as more than two weeks’ worth of rain fell in a single 36-hour spell.
Roads became impassable, homes were flooded and rivers rose to a dangerous height as the region suffered in the deluge.
According to the Met Office 51mm of rain fell on the Fylde and Over-Wyre between Monday morning and mid-day yesterday - compared to the usual September average for the area of 94mm for the whole month.
This morning, early trains between Blackpool North and Preston were cancelled due to a minor landslide blocking the track. Replacement bus services were put in place.
Around 300 families were evacuated from the Cala Gran Holiday Park in Fleetwood after standing water began to engulf part of the site yesterday afternoon.
A spokesman for the park said: “The River Wyre flooded and the forecast was heavy rain for the next 24 hours so as a precaution we decided to close the resort and most of the 300 families have left. When the water gets that high it could interfere with electrical equipment so it’s wiser not to have people around.
“Most of the families are just driving home but a few of them are looking for other accommodation.”
Holidaymaker Jean Redfearn, from Ripley, Derbyshire, had only arrived at the park the day before.
She said: “They told us it had been closed for health and safety, and we’d get a refund. It’s just one of those things, they can’t stop the weather.
“We can come again another time.”
The worst affected areas were in Wyre and rural Fylde, while parts of Blackpool also became waterlogged.
Lytham coastguard were called in by ambulance crews to help reach an ill woman in a stricken caravan at the Mariclough Hampsfield caravan park, on Preston New Road, Peel, at 5.30pm yesterday.
The water around the caravan was too deep for the ambulance to reach so crews helped evacuate the 50-year-old woman, who was transferred to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
Some parts of Hambleton were reported to have up to 3ft of standing water, affecting roads and homes.
And Wyre Council leader Peter Gibson today said “We need to be ready for what the next deluge might bring”.
The council had teams out yesterday distributing sandbags to the worst affected areas - in particular parts of Over Wyre, Thornton and Cleveleys - and collection points were set up at Thornton Sports Centre and the Civic Centre in Poulton. There were problems overnight between Monday and Tuesday in Northumberland Avenue and surrounding Cleveleys streets when water leaked into a number of properties.
Localised flooding was also reported and dealt with in areas of Carleton, Norcross and Normoss.
The issues in the Northumberland Avenue area began when water began seeping into bungalows.
The fire brigade attended just after 10pm on Monday.
Bungalows affected were on Rochester Avenue, Belford Avenue, Sunderland Avenue, Brompton Avenue and Northumberland Avenue.
Coun Peter Gibson added: “We had a slight respite with the rain yesterday morning and have been restricted to pockets of localised flooding rather than widespread problems.
“More wet weather is forecast so we need to be ready for what the next deluge might bring.
“We’re working together to make sure problems are dealt with as quickly as possible.”
Hillylaid Road in Thornton was among the roads which had to be closed to traffic. Thornton resident Donna Kyle, 27, said: “I drove through it and it was quite scary because the water was up above the car wheels.”
The Environment Agency issued flood warnings for the Rivers Wyre, Cocker and Pilling Water and other watercourses in the Catterall to Fleetwood area including St Michael’s, Great Eccleston and Preesall.
The warnings also included watercourses around Abbeystead, Scorton, Garstang, Bilsborrow and Churchtown.
In Fylde, Staining was among the worst affected villages.
Residents used tow ropes to pull stranded cars out of a huge pool of water which formed on Chain Lane.
They hauled cars onto the village hall car park to dry out, before Lancashire County Council eventually closed the road, which is used by many drivers heading to and from Poulton. The road later reopened.
Staining councillor John Singleton said: “The village was effectively cut off during the worst of it. It was horrendous and Chain Lane became quite dangerous.”
Large pools of water had formed on the carriageway of the A583 Blackpool Road near Kirkham and roads around the BNFL nuclear site at Salwick were also waterlogged, but a spokesman for the plant said it had not affected staff reaching work.
Many farmers’ fields were also badly affected, and Nook Farm in Rake Lane, Freckleton, was reported to be inaccessible.
A Met office spokesman said: “Thursday will be dry but cloudy and Friday will see light showers but nothing like what we have seen.”