Image: Collapsed wall at Wordsworth House
Christopher Furlong  /  Getty Images
The wall outside Wordsworth House, the childhood home of poet William Wordsworth, collapsed in the flooding in Cockermouth, England.
updated 11/24/2009 10:26:59 AM ET 2009-11-24T15:26:59

Residents of flood-battered northern England are struggling back to work, school and homes after swollen rivers inundated roads and caused several bridges to collapse.

Residents and business owners in the hardest-hit town, Cockermouth, were allowed to return to their properties Monday.

Some of the heaviest rainfall ever recorded in Britain triggered floods in the mountainous Lake District last week.

More than 1,000 homes were flooded and people had to be rescued by helicopter when rivers burst their banks.

Authorities say 18 schools remain closed, and more than two dozen roads are blocked.

A police officer was swept to his death when a major bridge collapsed Friday. Police and army experts are checking the safety of 1,800 bridges.

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