High volume pumps are being used to lower water levels in a flooded Lincolnshire town.
More than 580 homes in and around Wainfleet were evacuated amid concerns about flood defences.
Dozens of people spent the night away from their homes in emergency centres.
The town flooded on Wednesday after two months’ worth of rain fell in two days and the banks of the River Steeping broke its banks.
Steve Hardy and his wife, who stayed at the Coronation Hall in Wainfleet overnight, said he initially refused to leave his house when officials knocked on his door.
“I said ‘well we don’t really want to’.
“Then when he said ‘well look it’s going to be hard work for us if we have to come and get you’ and I don’t want to put anybody’s life at risk. So that was it.”
Lincolnshire Police has issued a request for people in the town not to use washing machines, toilets or showers.
It said public toilets were being set up in Market Place and Brewster Lane and residents could use the showers at nearby Skegness Leisure Centre.
RAF Chinook helicopters, aided by troops on the ground, have placed an additional 76 tonnes of sand and ballast on top of the 270 tonnes dropped on Friday in an attempt to reinforce and plug a breach in the River Steeping’s banks.
Ch Insp Phil Vickers, from Lincolnshire Police, said that it was important to reduce the river’s levels.
“The Environment Agency have got some high volume pumps that are in place,” he said.
“We’re hoping they will assist us in clearing the water from the channel and from the area surrounding.
“Until we’re satisfied that there isn’t a risk to life, that there isn’t a further risk to property, our advice will remain to stay out of that area.”
Lincolnshire Police tweeted a map of the areas at risk of flooding.
The Environment Agency described the situation as “unprecedented” after 132mm (5.2in) of rain fell between Monday and Wednesday, with the Met Office predicting a further 20mm (0.79in) of rain during Saturday night and Sunday.
The agency said about 100 properties in Wainfleet had flooded, and further properties could be affected.
River levels were expected to remain very high for the next few days, it added.
Earlier, local Conservative MP Matt Warman praised the “incredible” multi-agency response to the flooding and offered “a huge thank you” to those involved.
But he said the town was “by no means out of the woods yet”.
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