Floods: Clean-up continues

Reader Norman Caddy took these photographs of flood water around the  Fir Wood Close/ Melbourne Terrace area of Walsden - here it is pictured flooding past Walsden Railway Station
Reader Norman Caddy took these photographs of flood water around the Fir Wood Close/ Melbourne Terrace area of Walsden - here it is pictured flooding past Walsden Railway Station

A massive clean-up operation is continuing after parts of Todmorden and Walsden were hit by flash flooding on Monday evening.

Intense thundery downpours resulted in 17mm of rain falling in just 15 minutes, leading to surface water flooding which damaged homes and businesses after drains were overwhelmed.

Dramatic tales have emerged of people being caught in a raging torrent of water gushing down the hillside in Walsden.

Neil Thompson, 51, was swept 50 yards downhill onto the railway track.

“I was terrified, I couldn’t stop what was happening,” he said. “I was trying to grab onto anything and stop me from being dragged by the water but I couldn’t catch hold.

“I just kept thinking: ‘If this water empties into the river I’m done for’.

“It was a really shocking experience.”

Rochdale Road, Halifax Road and Burnley Road were all impassable at due to floodwater, and there has been disruption to the rail network in the upper Calder Valley.

Calderdale Council teams have been out in Todmorden and Walsden to help those affected by the flood, and the sweepers and gulley cleaners have been doing the rounds.

Leader Coun Tim Swift said: “I’m really impressed with how quickly and tirelessly council staff, local people and other organisations are working on the clean up.

“I’d like to thank everyone for all their efforts.”

A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said the flood gates that divert water to Centre Vale Park were not opened because the river peaked one metre below the required level.

The spokesperson said: “The Environment Agency is working with Calderdale Council, the Canal and Rivers Trust, and Yorkshire Water to take an integrated approach to reducing flood risk in the Calder Valley.

“We are at the point of going out to tender on a £3.5 million scheme that will provide improved protection to 500 homes.”

The Community Foundation for Calderdale has started to take flood relief grant applications in response to Monday’s events.

Anybody affected by the flooding is invited to visit Customer First at Todmorden Community College with proof of ID and an address.

Clean-up kits are available from Customer First or by calling Calderdale Council on 0845 2456000.