Firefighter battles floods - while his own home is hit

Todmorden firefighters with crew commander John Davies (far right)
Todmorden firefighters with crew commander John Davies (far right)

Todmorden firefighter John Davies was busy battling the floods on Monday night when his own home came under water.

Half his garden was swept away and the kitchen was under around 3in of water after a stream was unable to cope with the sudden downpour in Walsden.

“My wife and kids had to sort it out as I was busy,” said Crew Commander Davies.

“But, I am sure many people had a worst night than me.”

The Todmorden crew was first called to Millreed Lodge Nursing Home, Rochdale Road, at 5.40 pm.

Crew Commander Davies said rainwater flooded the downstairs and affected the electrics.

“We diverted the water and evacuated residents’ upstairs,” he said.

Next, it was Hollins Road where drains were cleared and traffic diverted due to a stream bursting its banks.

From 6.40 pm until 10 pm the crew was at Waterside Lodge Residential Home, Rochdale Road, where rainwater flooded the cellars and affected the electrics and lifts.

Other crews were also kept busy with Mytholmroyd pumping out water at Callis Mill, Eastwood, and Scott Street, Walsden.

“There were another half a dozen incidents,” said Crew Commander Davies.

“The rain came down so hard the little streams couldn’t take it and water ended up on the roads.”

The Environment Agency lifted its flood alerts Tuesday morning.

A spokesperson said: “The Upper Calder Valley received heavy and intense rainfall.

“The rain gauge at Gorpley recorded 17mm of rainfall in 15 minutes, and 32mm in two hours, causing some surface water flooding and a quick rise in river levels.

“Flood warning sirens were sounded at just before 6.30pm as a precautionary measure.

“The flood gates that divert water to Centre Vale Park were not opened because the river peaked one metre below the level at which they are required.”

The Environment Agency is working with Calderdale Council, the Canal & 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,” said the spokesperson.