FLOODS HIT TODMORDEN AND HEBDEN BRIDGE HOMES AND BUSINESSES, TRAVEL DISRUPTED

FLOODING has caused chaos in the Calder Valley with roads impassable, train services suspended, schools closed, and homes and businesses flooded, as flood warnings have been issued in Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd and the waters continue to rise in Todmorden.

The A646 was closed just after 9am with Calderdale Council workers turning traffic back at Todmorden Town Hall in Todmorden town centre and Heptonstall turning circle in Hebden Bridge, causing travel mayhem for commuters.

Additionally, a lorry has become wedged in the River Calder off Stubbings Holme Road, Hebden Bridge, causing water to back up.

Andrew Morley, director of Calder Wire Form, the company the lorry was visiting when the accident happened, said they were working with the police to form an action plan to remove it from the river.

"The driver was connecting up the trailer when this happended; exactly what has yet to be determined. We are flooded now and the lorry has almost caused a dam, making it more of a flood risk. We are getting a rescue plan between us and the police but this is not something that can be fixed in five minutes."

A flood warning has been issued for the Calder River at Calder Holmes, Hebden Bridge by the Environment Agency at 9.20am and the flood warning sirens have been sounded in the town.

The Environment Agency has also issued flood warnings for Mytholmroyd for properties downstream from Caldene Bridge and in Hebden Bridge at Old Gate, with the right bank of the river along Old Gate, between St George's Street and Market Street on warning, and at Stubbings Bridge and Victoria Bridge in Hebden Bridge.

There has been a flood watch issued for the River Calder and its tributaries for Todmorden to Brighouse.

Bus services have been abandoned for the upper Calder Valley with buses not venturing past Tuel Lane, Sowerby Bridge. Train services were not running through the Calder Valley after line flooding at Walsden.

Roads are also flooded at Walsden and near Centre Vale Park, along Burnley Road, Todmorden, and are passable with care.

A number of schools have been closed in the area, including Riverside Junior School, Hebden Bridge, Old Town Primary School, Hebden Bridge, Heptonstall Junior and Infant School, Central Street Infant School, Hebden Bridge, Burnley Road Junior and Infant School, Mytholmroyd and Woodbank School, Luddenden Foot.

Calder High School and Todmorden High School both closed at lunchtime.

For further information on specific schools contact the schools directly or listen to Radio Leeds. Calderdale Council website will be updated regularly with further information.

Alan Pilbean, managing director of First Bus, said his Yellow School Bus manager was working closely with the schools in Halifax to make sure school children were able to get back home to the Calder Valley.

Businesses along Halifax Road in Todmorden were also affected with water coming up through the cellar at Hussein Brothers' shop.

Co-owner of the shop, Coun Abid Hussein, said Calderdale Council had arrived with sandbags just in time as water was entering the shop from the flooded road. He thanked the council for the sandbags.

"The drains cannot cope with any more water. This is the fifth time we've been flooded in the time that I've been here. Now its stopped raining its easing off a bit," said Coun Hussein.

Homes have also been flooded on Burnley Road, near Todmorden High School.

For more information about the flood warnings visit the Environment Agency website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk or telephone the floodline on 0845 988 1188. Agency officers have urged residents to keep watching the weather and the river.

- For any updates on the flooding return later to our websites www.todmordennews.co.uk and www.hebdenbridgetimes.co.uk