Floods hit Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd

Floodwaters in the centre of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire Photo: John Giles/PA

Many people have been forced to leave their homes after flash flooding hit the Calder Valley, with properties inundated in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd. It followed the equivalent of more than month's rainfall which fell in just 24 hours.

Flood warnings were sounded on Friday evening in Todmorden and Hebden Bridge warning of imminent flooding. Some motorists were forced to abandon their cars and wade through flood water to get home.

Firefighters used a rescue boat to help a number of people trapped by the rising waters. At Hebden Bridge, they came to the aid of a canal boat stuck in a dangerous position in a lock on the Rochdale Canal. Six people were brought to safety from the boat at 9pm on Friday.

At one point on Friday evening, West Yorkshire Fire Service issued a message saying it could only respond to incidents in which life was in danger due to the amount of calls. A spokesman for the brigade said flooding was widespread across the Calderdale area but began to recede by dawn.

"It was really a pretty devastating picture. Countless homes and businesses were under water in the centre of Mytholmroyd. I've spoken to a lot of people, a lot of whom have lived in the area for years, and they cannot remember anything like this in the last 24 years."

– Councillor Simon Young, Calderdale Council

Further north, firefighters in the Yorkshire Dales had to rescue a number of people from cars due to flash flooding. North Yorkshire Fire Service said nine people in three cars were brought to safety on the A684 in the Hawes area. A spokesman said the initial call was to one car stuck in fast-moving floodwater but other vehicles became involved.

He said: "On arrival the fire crews from Hawes effected the rescue of a family of two adults and two children, by pushing their car from the floodwater. "Unfortunately, during this operation a further two cars also tried to negotiate the floodwater and also had to be rescued in a similar manner. "In total, three cars containing five adults and four children were pushed to safety by the Hawes fire crew who donned wetsuits and lifejackets during the rescue."

The spokesman said this was followed by another rescue on the A684, this time near Bainbridge. He said 23 fire personnel, including swift rescue teams, were sent to the incident but the man was eventually rescued by pushing the car out of the water. Earlier in the evening, two women were rescued from a car trapped in floodwater at Carleton, near Skipton.

In Dewsbury, two feet of water water flooded the town sports centre's swimming pool filtration plant. More than 40 flood warnings were still in place this morning across Yorkshire - most of them in Calderdale.