SourceDozens rescued in flash floods
People were left trapped in cars, homes and trees
Dozens of people have been rescued by rescue services in north Cornwall after a huge wave crashed through a coastal village during heavy flooding.
Heavy storms on Monday afternoon caused 6cm (2ins) of rain to fall in two hours in the Boscastle area.
Seven rescue helicopters were scrambled to winch people stranded on rooftops and in cars to safety.
Rescue workers described the situation as "horrendous" as buildings and cars were washed into the sea.
Michael Mulford, spokesman for RAF Kinloss which is co-ordinating the military rescue effort, said hundreds more people could need air-lifting from the flood-stricken area.
No serious casualties
"A lot of them managed to get away to high ground in the early stages but in the building up to seven helicopters, we have to consider the possibility we may have many hundreds, up to theoretically, 1,000 people who may need rescuing.
"This is the biggest combined incident we have had in many, many years. It is very seldom we have more than two helicopters at one scene. To get seven is remarkable."
Cars washed away
At least 30 vehicles were washed into the harbour
Devon and Cornwall police say there have been no reports of serious casualties.
The force's emergency response plan has been put into action, co-ordinated from police headquarters in Exeter.
The police have urged people to remain calm and avoid the area. They are setting up an emergency number for people worried about friends and relatives.
Rescue workers described the situation at Boscastle as "horrendous" as buildings and cars were washed into the sea.
BBC Spotlight Cornwall reporter David George said: "There is no electricity or power in the area. A number of properties have been completely washed away and, at one point, a 10-foot wave came down one street.
"Emergency services are here in huge numbers. There are 20 or 30 fire engines lined up on one road, but they are unable to get into the centre of the town.
Three coastguard teams
"Huge trees lying in the street are being washed into the river and three shops are completely gone, either under water or washed away.
In places, so much water flowed down streets that roads came up and were broken. People abandoned cars on both sides of the road.
Falmouth Coastguards were reported to be at full stretch, with three teams working in the area.
Steve Huxley, spokesman at Falmouth Coastguard, said that the flood water which appeared to be slightly lower than earlier had swept away a bridge over the river along with buildings and houses on the west side of the riverbank.
Nigel Doyle, landlord of The Darlington Inn in nearby Camelford, said sandbags were being put in place to protect properties from the swollen River Camel.
Vulnerable to elements
He said: "The emergency services are out and they are sandbagging certain houses because the river is going at full flow. There is a lot of flood water out on the streets.
"I couldn't see out the car earlier and we had to drive about 5mph to get through it. It is the heaviest rain I have ever been out in."
Margaret Hunter, owner of the Tintagel Arms Hotel, said the rain had been "exceptional".
She said: "It has been torrential. Really, really heavy rain and storms with water running down the village. I was amazed at the volume of rain."
The village is one of Cornwall's most picturesque and historic tourist spots, but its position deep in a steep valley may have left it vulnerable to the elements.
Boscastle stands in a deep coomb where two valleys meet, formed by the rivers Valency and Jordan. A third river, Paradise, also flows through the village.
I have just seen this on the news. Bloody hell there was 9 feet of water and cars and vans literally flowing down the road