A DEVASTATED home owner told tonight how she stands to lose her house of 26 years after a landslip left it teetering over a 30ft drop.

Torrential rain led to gardens and patios behind Aelfleda Terrace in Whitby, North Yorkshire, being swept away down the steep slope overlooking the harbour, near Whitby Abbey.

Engineers fear that five homes on the 150-year-old terrace will collapse and the row of cottages are due to be demolished tomorrow.

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Speaking to a television news crew, resident Jude Knight said: “I’m just devastated, I’ve lost everything, I’ve lost 26 years of my life, that’s how long I’ve had this property.”

She added: “The houses have been here for 150 years now – it’s part of Whitby’s history and landscape that’s also going.”

A further landslip at one point last night looked set to endanger more homes, situated below the terrace, but the properties were found to be empty.

A spokesman for Scarborough Borough Council said residents had been allowed back in to retrieve their belongings, but the area had now been cordoned off.

Today (Wed) the Environment Agency had 17 flood warnings in place for rivers in North Yorkshire, nine of which were for the York and Naburn areas. 

Other flood warnings were in place for the River Swale at Myton-on-Swale, Helperby and Kirby Wiske and the River Ure at Aldwark Bridge and Roecliffe Caravan Park. The Environment Agency said today it believed most of the rivers in North Yorkshire had peaked.

Residents in Malton, Old Malton and Norton in Ryedale were also struggling for a second day with flooded streets. The town’s £9m flood defences held back the River Derwent from deluging the 300 properties in the area, but the problem was caused by drains backing up with surface water.

One of the worst affected areas was Old Malton, where on Tuesday (27) waist-high water filled the main street near the Royal Oak. The street was still under water today.

Pumps were put in place which kept water levels in check.

One resident of Old Malton, Jill Baldwin, press officer for Ryedale District Council, said she had moved all her belongings upstairs as a precaution, but her home had luckily escaped flooding. She said: “I would say it’s as bad as the 2000 floods, but the sheer volume of water seems a lot more than in 2000.

“People here are saying it’s going to be a long winter for us.”

The Met Office has now issued new weather warnings, as cold weather hits the region, bringing with it the danger of surface water on roads turning to ice from this evening until mid-morning tomorrow (11am Thur).

North Yorkshire Police urged drivers to be wary of treacherous driving conditions.