Cumbria floods
© Aidan Greaves
The River Eden burst its banks in Appleby, Cumbria, UK

Rain and winds of up to 70mph could continue to batter northern England in the run up to Christmas, it is feared.

Storm Eva could bring further misery to Cumbria, where some areas are dealing with the aftermath of flooding for the third time in a month.

Appleby, Glenridding, Keswick and Kendal were all hit after rivers burst their banks on Tuesday.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: "We are monitoring the situation closely."

The spokesman added: "There is currently the possibility for further unsettled weather during the festive period which could lead to some disruption in the north of England.

"We will issue further flood alerts and warnings if required."

Roy Ashley, whose garage business and home in Appleby have been damaged once again, said the flooding had destroyed lives.

He said: "It has taken people's homes. Some people have lost businesses."

His wife Charlotte said: "No one's ever seen this, it's unbelievable.

"The water two weeks ago was above my head in the garage - you can't deal with that kind of thing."

Hundreds of properties were flooded when Storm Desmond brought a record amount of rainfall during the weekend of 5 December.

Four days later there was a further deluge, in which Glenridding was particularly badly hit.

Speaking about the latest incident, Appleby resident Sarah McKay said: "It's just before Christmas and everybody has already lost everything. It's terrible."

Mark Hook, who runs a guest house near Ullswater, said water was lapping at his door.

He said: "It's quite a scary thought really... once yes, twice worrying, but three times is not good at all.

"When you've just cleaned everything up and are getting ready for decorating or carpet re-laying, you're thinking 'should I do this? should I hold on?'."

A fundraising appeal for victims of the flooding launched in the wake of Storm Desmond has increased its target to £6m.

The Cumbria Community Foundation said it had raised almost £3.5m so far, and the higher amount reflected "a growing sense of the true scale of the need".

Organisers said priority would be given to individuals and families suffering financial hardship, and community relief and rebuilding projects.

Meanwhile, two flood warnings remain in place across Cumbria.