Tuesday, 17 November 2015
I took these photos yesterday (Monday), showing the River Aire in flood. (Note helpful sign!) The autumn was quite a dry one but the last couple of weeks we've had much more rain, culminating in an Atlantic storm (Abigail - they've started naming them now!) and the remnants of Hurricane Kate hitting our shores. Cumbria, Lancashire and this part of Yorkshire have been hit quite badly over the weekend. Ilkley and Otley towns have both been flooded by the Wharfe and the Aire has spread out into (designated) flood plains like Roberts Park (above) and adjacent fields in Saltaire, and the rugby club in Bingley. In fact the water had receded a lot by the time I took these pictures. (For some much better ones click here.) The tumult over the weir by the New Mill was still spectacular.
I wasn't able to go out with my camera on Sunday as I was helping to mop up floodwater and tons of mud in my daughter's house. Ironically, they live high on a hillside above Hebden Bridge, well away from the River Calder. But there was so much rain Saturday through to Sunday that the field drains above their house could not hold it and cascades poured down through their front door and flooded their hall, a sitting room and downstairs bathroom overnight. What a mess to wake up to! Their neighbour was similarly afflicted. They have lived there 30 years and say it has never happened before. So that is such bad luck for my family, who only moved in four months ago. The only saving grace is that they had not fully furnished that sitting room yet and it was still full of boxes piled high. The stuff in the bottom boxes was ruined but they managed to salvage a lot of the others. The insurers will have to decide whether the wooden floor is beyond redemption - and who knows what lies beneath... By the time I arrived the water had mostly seeped away through the floorboards but it left behind a thick layer of mud (thankfully not sewage). Dreadful.