"We were lucky it stopped raining at the right time" - Calder Valley escapes serious flooding after torrential rain

The River Calder in Hebden Bridge
The River Calder in Hebden Bridge

The Calder Valley was breathing a sigh of relief today (Monday) after being hit by torrential rain but avoiding a repeat of the Boxing Day floods of 2015.

Flood sirens sounded in Todmorden, Hebden Bridge and Walsden but business owners and residents seem to have escaped without suffering serious problems.

Bridgeholme Cricket Club

Bridgeholme Cricket Club

Helen Parnell, owner of Spirals in Hebden Bridge, said: "I was down here and the river was looking bad. There was a lot of surface water, and it felt like it could go.

"But we were lucky it stopped raining at the right time.

"The government website that shows the predicted levels of rainfall had shown it was going to be higher than the last time it flooded really badly.

"So there was a lot of panic, because it was showing over four metres, which is just bonkers. It was scary to see that.

"Because it's happened before, you just don't know what's going to happen. It would have been insane if it had gone that high.

"The flood wardens did a really good job, and helped with the surface water."

Jenna Greenroyd, who works at Spirals, said: "It rose really quickly, so your stress levels just go through the roof.

"The river got as high as it can without going over the top, but I think it was the surface water that was the issue.

"And a lot of people were saying the drains hadn't been cleaned."

Another Hebden Bridge business owner said: "When we opened the doors we got a big puddle but it's only a half-an-hour clean-up. I think there's other people in the country worse off than us.

"The flood wardens are really good, and there's plenty on social media.

"People communicate with each other. I rang the local pub last night to see what it was like.There's a good community spirit around."

Sam Booth, general manager of the Old Gate, Hebden Bridge, said: "I think there were some flash flooding problems on the main road but we kept an eye on things and we were fine.

"I got my manageress to keep me updated after I left on Sunday night. She sent me a photo of the river at about 12.50am and it looked like it needed a few more hours of solid rain to get anywhere close to flooding.

"One of the wardens said they were more concerned about flash flooding running down the road on the hillside than the rivers themselves, so I took that to mean we'd be alright.

"I think that was the fifth flood siren that's gone off since the Boxing Day floods, so now it's almost becoming common to hear it and people are less inclined to act on it.

"I think the flood wardens are good. We've probably seen them half-a-dozen times since the 2015 floods. As soon as there's any sort of worry, the wardens are out. They're on the ball and good at knowing the info."

Asha Khan, from Todmodren Pharmacy, said: "We were fine, we weren't affected so badly. But our back yard was.

"Consequently, because it was in our back yard, it went into our neighbours.

"Because of our shutters we were OK, but if we hadn't had that system in place, it probably would have come into ours as well.

"My husband drove from Halifax last night to see everything was OK. I was panicking a bit because I thought we were going to be flooded."

Wendy Gledhill, who lives on Industrial Street in Todmorden, and has an office on the corner of Stansfield Road, said: "This was the worst I've been since I lived here. It wasn't as bad as the Boxing Day floods though.

"We kept going out to see how Halifax Road was doing because of last time when the fire engine had to come out and pump it all into Lidl. We were quite close to that.

"But that didn't happen. It was just the barber's that was badly affected.

"The water was quite high by Stansfield Road bridge, where my office is, and by the back of the market, and on Water Street."