Flood defence equipment swept away in Leeds following Storm Franklin

Equipment that was being used to build flood defences in Leeds has been washed away after water levels rose on the River Aire in Storm Franklin.

The heavy-duty machinery was washed downstream on Sunday afternoon following heavy rain in West Yorkshire.

Footage shows workers helplessly looking on as the water swept around the equipment.

A footbridge near Armley Mills was also wiped out when debris floated down the river and smashed through it.

A large pontoon floating down the river crashed into the bridge on Sunday afternoon and destroyed a large part of it.

A spokesperson for Leeds City Council said: "Storm conditions in Leeds on Sunday afternoon were particularly challenging and caused a pontoon involved in the Flood Alleviation Scheme 2 (FAS2) construction work to break free from its mooring and travel downstream towards Leeds city centre.

"A structure which was to be removed as part of FAS2 was badly damaged. However, inspections of footbridges in its path found no structural damage and they were declared safe.

"We have begun plans to recover the pieces of the broken pontoon and the plant equipment when river levels return to a safe level. There is no immediate concern about these causing damage in the meantime."

The third named storm in a week caused widespread rush-hour travel disruption, with train operators warning customers not to travel amid gale-force winds and flooding.

Storm Franklin's wind and rain follows the disruption and damage of Dudley and Eunice, with weather forecasters saying it's the first time since 2015 that we've had three named storms in a week. 

Across Yorkshire, major flooding had blocked roads and people have been rescued from their homes after several rivers burst their banks.

The River Don burst its banks in the Sprotbrough area of Doncaster in South Yorkshire on Sunday night, and police have warned people to stay away from dangerous “fast-flowing” water.

Central Sheffield’s flood defences appear to have held, despite fears as the River Don raged through the city on Sunday night.

Major flooding closed South Yorkshire’s Rotherham Central railway station until Tuesday.

In North Yorkshire, firefighters rescued people and their pets from a caravan park in Knaresborough after flooding from the River Nidd.