Schools get back to normal

Calder High School yesterday
Calder High School yesterday

Schools in Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd are open as usual after a traumatic Monday afternoon.

Children were sent home early yesterday due to the chaotic conditions in the upper Calder Valley.

Students at Calder High School, Mytholmroyd, were stranded as floodwaters made Burnley Road and Midgley Road impassable.

Some were stuck on site until 7pm.

Dr Wendy Bradford, from Calder High, said: “At 2.30pm we got a call from Calderdale Council saying not to release children by bus, car or on foot in the Hebden Bridge direction.

“We got messages out to the whole school. We had an operation where students who were going away from Hebden Bridge could be released safely but if they were going in the other direction we held them in school in the Ted Hughes Theatre and allowed them to call home.

“Many staff made their mobile phones available to ring home.

“We kept students here until we could be clear that they could safely get home.

“We put a film on and opened the school kitchen so we could feed them.”

She thanked parents, children and staff for their co-operation.

“It was a great community effort and I’m very proud of everybody involved.

“We were asked to keep the school open as an evacuation centre because of the threat from a reservoir, but that was not needed.”

Staff at Old Town Primary School carried tables outside to divert water away from the building.

Administrator Janine Turpin said the road opposite the school resembled a river.

“It was a nightmare,” she said.

“We had water running into the cellar. Luckily we caught that fairly quickly.

“When we opened the cellar door we could hear this waterfall.

“Staff members formed a barrier to divert water away from school.

“We just couldn’t believe the amount of water on the tops here.

“Parents came to collect their children early but had to go via Oxenhope and Keighley to get here.”

At Central Street Infant School, Hebden Bridge, which was badly hit in last month’s flooding, staff managed to protect the building by putting out sandbags to guard against the floodwater.

A flat roof on one of the offices at Riverside Junior School, Hebden Bridge, collapsed in the heavy downpour but the school remained open.

Business manager Susan Bradshaw said: “We were safe and dry but because the road in and out of Hebden Bridge was so poor we contacted parents and asked them if they wanted to collect their children early they could do.

“We stayed open until 6pm until the last child was collected.”

The field and foundation stage playground at Burnley Road Academy, Mytholmroyd, were submerged under four feet of water but the buildings remained unaffected.

Parents were contacted to collect their children as soon as possible.

Children were also sent home early from Stubbings Infant School, Hebden Bridge, due to the volume of water pouring down nearby Birchcliffe Road.

A spokesperson said: “The water was gushing down Birchcliffe like a torrent. Boxes and all sorts were floating down.

“We kept the school open because some parents had difficulties getting back into Hebden Bridge.”

Scout Road Academy, Mytholmroyd, was unaffected but due to flooding in surrounding areas parents were contacted to collect their children early.