The clean up begins for Valley businesses after the flood

Floods in the Calder Valley. Catherine Barraclough at Bubblefloss Cottage, Hebden Bridge.
Floods in the Calder Valley. Catherine Barraclough at Bubblefloss Cottage, Hebden Bridge.

Businesses and homeowners have begun the clean up operation after the floods which turned the centre of Hebden Bridge and Todmorden into rivers.

But by Saturday most of the water had subsided and the long process of cleaning up the debris got under way.

Firefighters spent most of the day pumping water out of properties and council workers helped to clear up as much as they could.

Catherine Barraclough owns Bubble Floss Cottage, Bridge Gate, Hebden Bridge, and sells gifts and accessories for ladies and babies. She came back to her shop on Saturday morning to find stock floating round the property.

“It’s a mess,” she said. “Stuff was floating round and the shop was full of mud - we had a bout two and half feet of water in here.

“I had brought all my stock down to clear it so it was all downstairs unfortunately. I’ve seen a £100 bag floating round.

“There’s probably about £5,000 worth of damage in total. I’m devastated but it’s just one of those things - I think there’ll be a big sale of flood damaged stock next week.”

Market Street, Hebden Bridge, was completely flooded after the torrential downpours. The Heart Gallery was one of the businesses affected.

Owner Alison Bartram said: “We did what we could on Friday to move things out of the way but I didn’t expect it to affect Market Street like it did.

“I couldn’t believe when I walked in and saw where the water had been.”

The floods had soaked the gallery particularly in the stockroom and offices at the back of the property which sits slightly lower than the front.

“We had about two feet of water,” said Mrs Batram. “There was more damage then I had hoped for but not as much as I expected after seeing some of the images on Twitter.

“There is brown sludge and some foul smells and damage to the stock - probably a few thousand pounds worth of damage.

“We have some original artwork, photography and textiles that were damaged plus all the office containing our paperwork.”

The gallery owner reserved special praise for council workers who were out in force from 5am on Saturday morning getting the clean up under way.

“The council has been fantastic,” she said. “They cleared up and took everything away very quickly.

“The spirit of customers and people has been brilliant. Businesses, neighbours, friends and randoms turning up bringing coffee and cakes and bin bags just to help out.

“The way the town pulled together is quite humbling. That is the positive thing to come out of it.”

Businesses will be clearing up for most of the week with some opening in the next few days while others have said it will be significantly longer before they will open their doors.

If you have any stories from the floods that you want to share get in touch at or via Twitter @HxCourier.