Full scale of Yorkshire damage revealed as waters recede

The clear-up begins after the great floods on Boxing Day.
The clear-up begins after the great floods on Boxing Day.
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As river levels fell and the clean-up continued today the full scale of the devastation caused by the floods chaos across the region was evident for all to see.

Bridges, which have been in place for as long as anyone can remember, have had to be closed after flooding left them unstable, landslides have shut roads, streets have been left swamped in mud with volunteers working tirelessly to clear the slime and streets have been piled high with damaged belongings as people cleared their properties.

Boxing day flood in Hebden Bridge. Albert Street and New Road under water.

Boxing day flood in Hebden Bridge. Albert Street and New Road under water.

With more heavy rain forecast for today they are keeping their fingers crossed that they will not be hit for a second time.

There were dramatic scenes yesterday as Tadcaster Bridge collapsed, while Elland Bridge, a road bridge and a main route into Elland, near Halifax, was closed after the carriageway partly gave way after the floods.

Checks are being carried out at bridges across the region as the impact of the floodwaters is assessed. Earlier this week Linton Bridge, over the River Wharfe, near Wetherby, was sealed off after being damaged by flood waters, while part of Copley Bridge, in Halifax, collapsed.

Routes including Scout Road, at Mytholmroyd, were also closed because of a landslide.

Coun Tim Swift, the leader of Calderdale Council, said yesterday that the situation in Calderdale was “exceptional.”

“The river level at every point where measurements were taken on Boxing Day were higher than any recorded figures,” he said of the situation in Calderdale.

He said in some areas the floods had swamped whole high streets.

“As of yesterday in Mytholmroyd there were no shops open at all,” he said.

The floods have wreaked havoc in villages, towns and cities across Yorkshire with many communities hard hit.

Yesterday hardy volunteers were once again out in force armed with mops and brushes as they attempted to clear shops, businesses, homes and streets.

However, in some areas water levels had still not fallen enough for people to properly assess the damage.

Warehouses in the Stourton area of Leeds were still unreachable yesterday.

John Hunter, whose father Michael owns Batley Warehousing, said: “Yesterday we were under five foot of water, today it’s more like three foot. But we can’t get in to see the extent of the damage yet.”

In Hebden Bridge, Pamela Rowlinson, broke down in tears exhausted after attempting to clean up her business, The Crown Inn, which has been left devastated by the floods.

A huge clear-up was under way in York as falling river levels saw many flooded streets drained of filthy water. Some businesses were able to get back into their properties and assess the damage.

Phil O’Dea, who runs a guitar and music shop, said he was amazed how deep the water got.

He said the shop on Fossgate was wrecked by three feet of water from the nearby Foss and many of his guitars were now useful “only as paddles”.

But he said his main concern when the problems started on Boxing Day were people trapped in surrounding flats. “The shop’s pretty much irrelevant when there’s people trapped,” he said.


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