UK & World News

  • 30 July 2013, 15:59

Todmorden: Major Clean-Up After Flash Flood

A major clean-up is under way after a flash flood burst through homes and swept away roads in a Pennines village.

Walsden, near Todmorden, in West Yorkshire, was hit by up to 18in (46cm) of water last night after a cloudburst and torrential rain.

Residents said the flood caused "sheer devastation" as it poured from a culvert, ripping out huge chunks of tarmac, and destroying roads.

Water is still pouring down a side street and through at least one house.

Around 20 homes have been flooded, and more heavy rain is on the way, bringing the risk of more flooding.

Roger Stansfield, who was cleaning up his property this morning, said: "It started raining really heavily and within 15 minutes this road was completely flooded to the depth of my wellington boots.

"There's nothing you can do."

Flood warden Keith Crabtree said an "unprecedented" amount of rain caused "sheer devastation" in the village.

"Every road in and out of Todmorden was flooded. There's still a lot of water coming off the hillside," he said.

"It happened so quickly. The floods 12 months ago took three days to build up.

"This one, we just got three quarters of an hour of cloudburst and there's just nothing you can do about that."

West Yorkshire Police have asked people to avoid travelling through the area, saying waves from driving through water could damage houses.

Railway lines are submerged and Walsden station is closed as maintenance crews repair the tracks.

People in the region are still struggling to recover from last year's severe flooding, which caused more than 3m of damage.

Prime Minister David Cameron went to Yorkshire in June 2012 to visit flood victims and warned he would "robustly" negotiate with insurance companies to make sure they paid out.

The Environment Agency currently has three flood alerts in place - two in the Midlands and one in the South East.

Joanna Robinson, Sky News weather producer, said: "There'll be further heavy, possibly thundery, showers around this afternoon.

"Torrential downpours will bring the risk of local flooding, especially across northeast England, including West Yorkshire.

"The showers will ease and fade going into the evening, but more general rain will move in from the South West tonight.

"Wednesday will bring yet more rain, locally torrential, to much of England, Wales and Ireland.

"By Thursday, the South East will turn briefly hot and humid, with temperatures up to 31C."