"We had six metres of board trying to divert the water" - Calderdale residents speak of mystery midnight flood

A pub landlord was out in the early hours diverting a torrent of water after a mystery midnight flood.

By Martin Shaw
Friday, 16th April 2021, 3:10 pm

Lance De-Block, of The Sun Inn at Rastrick, looked out of the window on his way to bed late on Saturday night.

He went outside to investigate and saw a muddy stream of water running down New Hey Road. Within minutes it was a torrent and the floodwater gushed down his driveway and into the lower kitchen of the pub.

The drama started sometime after 11pm and emergency services were called. At one point there were two fire engines, six Yorkshire Water vans and several police cars.

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Jim Baird in Badger Hill.

Lance, 39, told how he went outside to investigate at around 11.30pm and started to record a video. It was a steady stream at first but suddenly the volume of water increased and Lance made a run for the pub.

At one point Lance, his partner Lesley, two neighbours and six police officers battled to divert the water.

“It was just rushing down and at one time we had six metres of board trying to divert the water to the side of the road,” he said. “The police had to call in units from other areas and it lasted until about 3.30am.”

There was some damage to the drive and six inches of water got into the lower kitchen, though Lance and Lesley were able to push the water into a manhole outside.

Water at The Sun Inn, Rastrick.

The following morning there was a trail of mud to be cleared up.

It turned out a water main had burst near Fixby Water Treatment Works at the top of the hill.

Several homes off New Hey Road were affected including that of 80-year-old Jim Baird in Badger Hill.

On Sunday morning Jim found his conservatory had been flooded and when he went outside to investigate found water had got into his garage and carport, a garden wall had been damaged and there was a film of mud over his back garden.

“The flow of water must have been quite fierce,” said Jim. “We live on a hill and I never expected our home to be flooded.”

Yorkshire Water sent in contract cleaners to sort out Jim’s conservatory.

A spokesman for Yorkshire Water said: “In the early hours of Sunday morning there was a burst on one of our large mains near Fixby Water Treatment Works.

“Although we worked quickly to fix the problem, and managed to isolate the main in just over an hour, there was some localised flooding.

“We worked closely with the police and fire service to protect properties as much as possible but despite our best efforts, a few properties did have some issues.”