HOUSEHOLDERS devastated by flash floods over the summer have been on standby again after flood warnings were issued across the region as emergency services appealed to drivers to beware.

Communities along the coast were also warned of flooding as incessant rain combined with high tides to heighten the risks. Several roads were closed, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said drivers needed to be on the alert. They were called out to help save two occupants and a dog in a transit van which was in danger of being swept away.

It had ended up trying to cross a ford in the swollen river Skell in Firs Avenue, Ripon. Station Manager Andy Creasy tweeted: "Ripon Blue Watch along with multiple Fire and Rescue resources and from North Yorkshire police were mobilised. To this I had one question only, why did you attempt this? The response was my SatNav said this way. Unbelievable stupidity."

He later said he had had a strong conversation with the driver adding: "They did endanger their own lives and those of the officers who had to go and help them for something that could have been avoided."

In Swaledale and Arkengarthdale where 200 homes were flooded over the summer residents were preparing for the worst after a flood warning was issued for Arkle Beck in the area around Reeth and Fremington. The Environment Agency said levels were not expected to reach those in July.

Richmondshire District councillor Richard Good who lives in Reeth said: "People have been concerned, and that's understandable, we're keeping a close eye on the river levels. There is a lot of standing water on the roads, as far as I am aware there hasn't been any further flooding but we are staying vigilant.

"Sandbags were issued on Sunday after concerns but they weren't needed. A lot of work has been done on the becks and rivers and more is due to be done so this weather is really disappointing and it's being very closely monitored."

Other warnings were put in place on the coast at Staithes, Whitby and Sunderland. The Agency said properties bordering Staithes Beck and in the High Street were at risk. They added: "Our incident response staff are closely monitoring the situation and forecasts. Please be careful along beaches, promenades, coastal footpaths and roads as large waves and sea spray could be dangerous."

In York river levels rose through the day and are expected to peak around lunchtime today. The Foss barrier was brought into operation with flood gates closed between Scarborough Bridge and the Ouse Bridge.

Other incidents included Fire crews helping a woman in a car stuck in floodwater in Cattal Moor Lane, near York. Crews also pumped out the basement of a shop in Knaresborough after flooding damaged plant machinery. At Ushaw Moor in Durham, Broadgate Road was blocked. The River Gaunless at Cockfield Fell rose dramatically and was being monitored. The A1046 Haverton Hill Road was also closed. Rainfall was due to end overnight the environment agency said communities should remain on standby.