District survives West Yorkshire’s worst flooding in 70 years

Flooding at Pugneys Country Park. Photo by @s_mowbray

Flooding at Pugneys Country Park. Photo by @s_mowbray

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Roads, businesses and community buildings were submerged in water after the River Calder and River Aire burst their banks.

West Yorkshire Police declared a ‘major incident’ as the county was hit by the worst flooding in 70 years during the weekend.

Flooding at Pugneys Country Park. Photo by @s_mowbray

Flooding at Pugneys Country Park. Photo by @s_mowbray

More than 100 soldiers were deployed to help with the clean up effort.

Communities in Castleford and Mickletown were among those most severely affected by the torrential rainfall which caused River Aire water levels to peak.

Police advised people to move their valuables upstairs and prepare for a possible evacuation on Sunday, after the Environment Agency issued further flood warnings to the already affected areas.

Emergency services were called out to rescue those who had become trapped in the flood waters.

Fire crews escorted a man and his pet dog and cat by boat from Stocking Lane in Knottingley to dry land.

And a motorist had to be rescued from Lock Lane, Castleford, after getting stranded in flood water and a trapped HGV driver was also rescued in Allerton Bywater.

Police said: “The Lock Lane driver had ignored the Road Closed signs, and driven past a lorry which had also been caught in flood water.

“A van facing in the opposite direction which had already abandoned should have given an indication as to the depth of the water prior to this motorist getting stuck.”

The A656 Barnsdale Road submerged after the River Aire burst its banks.

The A656 Barnsdale Road submerged after the River Aire burst its banks.

The HGV driver had become stuck in the floods on Barnsdale Road on Monday after water got into the engine of his lorry.

Fire crews took him to safety by boat.

The road in Allerton Bywater remained closed for a fourth day on Tuesday, between Station Road and William Street. An Environment Agency spokesman said Fairburn Sluice was opened to help empty the Allerton Ings and water levels were beginning to fall.

St Aiden’s washland was also put into operation in Castleford to protect more than 1,000 homes from the rising water levels.

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford express.'Story: Local flooding after recent sustained heavy rain.'Picture show the A656 Barnsdale Road submerged after the River Aire burst it's banks yet again.'Photo date: 28/12/15'Picture Ref: AB576d1215

Newspaper: Pontefract & Castleford express.'Story: Local flooding after recent sustained heavy rain.'Picture show the A656 Barnsdale Road submerged after the River Aire burst it's banks yet again.'Photo date: 28/12/15'Picture Ref: AB576d1215

In Wakefield city centre, Chantry Bridge and Doncaster Road were closed due to flooding on Boxing Day.

Wakefield Sea Cadets, who are based at nearby Thornes Lane, were among those badly affected by the River Calder bursting its banks.

Chairman Mark Pugh said: “Our unit at Thornes Lane was unfortunately flooded overnight on Saturday. Since early Sunday morning we started the process of the clean up as well as continuing our support to the local community.

“The unit unfortunately will be out of use until we are able to carry out some essential repairs to equipment and the building itself.

“Other community users of our facilities such as the Wakefield Philatelic Society are also affected.

“We have plans to temporarily move our training of cadets and we would like to thank all the local businesses, organisations and individual’s for the support we have received.”

Hepworth flooding - Gavin Hutsby

Hepworth flooding - Gavin Hutsby

As water levels rose, the river and Calder and Hebble Navigation left a trail of damage to businesses in Horbury Bridge, Horbury Junction and Calder Grove.

A canal boat, moored close to The Bingley Arms pub, capsized in the extreme weather, while the pub itself, and The Navigation Inn off Broad Cut Road, were damaged by flooding.

One Calder Grove resident said: “We lost our flood plane when the Starbucks and petrol station were built on Denby Dale Road.

“We were told it wouldn’t affect us but with several floods over the years they were wrong and we get no help from British waterways.”

Torrential rainfall also caused the lake at Pugneys Country Park to flood.

Staff closed the park at the weekend after high water levels caused its paths to become unsafe.

It was still closed on Tuesday.

Flooding near Chantry Bridge Wakefield on Christmas weekend 2015 ''Credit Betty Hoofer

Flooding near Chantry Bridge Wakefield on Christmas weekend 2015 ''Credit Betty Hoofer

Flooding at Chantry Bridge over the Christmas weekend 2015 @peterdknapper

Flooding at Chantry Bridge over the Christmas weekend 2015 @peterdknapper