Storm Ciara has savaged towns in Yorkshire, drenching homes, supermarkets and restaurants – despite multimillion pound defences built in the wake of the devastating Boxing Day floods of 2015.
Towns in the Pennines and Yorkshire Dales that have endured years of relentless flooding are under water again after almost three inches of rain fell in the region on Sunday.
Councils have spent millions on anti-flooding infrastructure after the 2015 deluge left thousands of homes and businesses ruined.
But flood defences throughout the Calder Valley lay in tatters after yesterday’s storm, which threaten’s to be Britain’s worst in a century, with residents and businesses hitting out at authorities for failing to protect them.
There are still 323 flood warnings and alerts in place across Britain, as those in Yorkshire battle rainfall just shy of what they were forced to endure four years ago, in a bid to prevent long-lasting damage to their properties.
The West Yorkshire towns of Todmorden, Mytholmroyd, Hebden and Sowerby Bridge are among the worst hit, with the streets transformed into canals, cars submerged and shops floors and front rooms covered in muddy water.
The Sainsbury’s supermarket in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, is pictured covered in rainwater, with stock floating own the aisles this morning
Misery: Flood victim Karen Smith starts the clear up after Storm Ciara wrecked her home in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire
A resident in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire pours a bucket of dirty rainwater collected from inside his home onto the street on Monday morning
A frustrated resident of Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, is pictured throwing away water-soaked rubbish outside his home
The River Ouse in York has broken its banks after heavy overnight rainfall from Storm Ciara, a flood warning remains in place with the river level expected to rise further
A man is pictured scaling a fence in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, in a pair of wellington boots after rainwater savaged the area
Under water: Cars are seen submerged in floodwater in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, after Storm Ciara battered the town
West Yorkshire residents and business owners have hit out at authorities after flood defences (pictured in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire) built over the past four years after the devastating Boxing Day floods of 2015 lay in tatters
A Sainsbury’s supermarket in Hebden Bridge was pictured with stock floating along the aisles, with a chemist in nearby Sowerby Bridge a similar sight.
Remzi Samsa the owner of Rendezvous Bistro in Hebden Bridge was forced to close, while street sweepers descended on the high street in a bid to clear the roads of water.
Also among the victims was Karen Smith, a resident of Mytholmroyd, whose ground floor was covered in thick brown sludge as a result of the storm.
She was pictured this morning desperately trying to sweep water back out onto the street, which was also drenched.
In York, the River Ouse has burst its banks, submerging streets and cars, while blustering gales have brought down trees.
Flooding affected large sections of the River Calder and River Aire in West Yorkshire. Further downstream, the main bridge at Elland has been closed for structural assessments after a large shipping container hit it and lodged underneath.
Yesterday, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Services revealed they were called to 170 flooding-related incidents in 12 hours between 8am and 8pm on Sunday. There were 765 emergency 999 calls and 50 rescues carried out.
2015: Flooding in Mytholmroyd this weekend nearly reached levels experienced in the area on Boxing Day 2015
2015: A family is pictured in December 2015 when the River Calder bursts its banks and the Army was drafted in to help residents
2015: A brave man is pictured knee-deep in brown flood water in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, in December 2015
2015: A woman is pictured seeking refuge on the top floor of her house as she looks onto the flooded street below in Mytholmroyd in December 2015
2015: Roads were rendered impassable by devastating floods in Calder Valley (Mytholmroyd pictured) over Christmas 2015
Fights break out at Gatwick and young children are forced to… Met office dubs Ciara ‘storm of the century’ as homes are… Woman passenger screams in terror as plane attempts to land…
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Train services have been suspended on the Transpennine Express between York and Scarborough due to a fallen tree on the line.
Northern trains between Ilkley, Skipton and Bradford Forster Square will not run all day due to flooding at Kirkstall Forge.
Routes between Carlisle, Lancaster and free torrent Leeds have also been suspended due to flooding at Hellifield. Replacement buses are running between Skipton and Carlisle, but are likely to be delayed due to rainwater on the roads.
There are also road closures throughout the region, including Clover Bridge in North Yorkshire, Greys Bridge in Denaby Main, Main Street in Wensley, Yorkshire Dales, the A684 in Hawes, the A646 in Mytholmroyd through to Halifax Road, A167 in Tees View and Bessingby Hill in both directions.
The M606 is also shut in Bradford between junctions two and three as a result of flooding.
Yesterday river levels across the region peaked just below the record levels of the 2015 Boxing Day floods.
More than £30 million has been spent on flood defences in Mytholmroyd since the 2015 disaster, with part of the scheme completed in 2019 and the remainder due to be finished this summer.
At the height of the flooding in the village on Sunday, the floods wardens said on their Facebook page: ‘Please stay at home unless absolutely necessary. There are no passable roads through The Valley.
‘There are no shops open for you to buy things from. And if you think you have a vehicle that is capable of driving through flood water still don’t do it.’
Members of the fire brigade help with clean up efforts in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, after the worst rain since 2015 floods hit over the weekend
Furniture is thrown onto the streets of Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, after it was ruined by floodwater over the weekend
Hebden Bridge residents come together to help businesses savaged by near-record breaking levels of rainwater
Firefighters in Mytholmroyd are pictured in their wellies trying to rid their station of water after the River Calder burst its banks nearby
A chemist in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, is pictured drenched in muddy rainwater, with nappies and beauty products littering the floor
A Lidl too much rain: A West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue worker is pictured with a dinghy in Brighouse, West Yorkshire
Remzi Samsa the owner of Rendezvous Bistro in Hebden Bridge was forced to close, while street sweepers descended on the high street in a bid to clear the roads of water
Ruined: Karen Smith’s front room in the Calder Valley town of Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, is seen covered in mud and water
So much for flood defences! A hairdressers in Sowerby Bridge, West Yorkshire, was forced to close after rainwater savaged the building
Two brave residents in Brighouse, West Yorkshire, were seen venturing outside despite knee-deep rainwater
On Monday the wardens said: ‘It’s the morning after and possibly the first time people will get a chance to really take stock of the devastation.’
Martin Slater from the Environment Agency told BBC Radio Leeds: ‘As the rain that fell yesterday moves down the River Aire catchment and the River Calder it will be going through Leeds overnight and today.
‘So we do ask people to remain vigilant and stay away from rivers.’
Mr Slater said: ‘The catchments are really saturated and there’s not places for any future rain to go, so we do ask people to be really careful.
‘Some of our measuring devices recorded around about 100mm rain in a 12 to 18-hour period, so that’s a lot of rain falling in a very short period of time.
‘Enormous quantities have fallen in a short period of time so that turns those small becks into raging torrents in places.’
Before the storm hit, the West Yorkshire Combined Authority last week vowed to spend another £1.7million on flood defences.
Across the Yorkshire Dales last year, natural flood defences were implemented to protect farms from the effects of heavy rain.
Natural flooding management techniques have been rolled out in Bishopdale, Wensleydale, including leaky dams, earth bunds and tree planting. They were all designed to stem the flow of the River Ure.
Early reports from West Yorkshire were that some of the new defences held but many homes were still flooded.
The main shopping street in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, is pictured yesterday looking more like a river after more than three inches of rain fell amid Storm Ciara
Shop owners in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire, were forced to close and abandon their businesses after rainwater swept the streets
Street sweepers have descended on West Yorkshire this morning in a bid to clear the roads of water
Residents of towns in the Calder Valley, West Yorkshire, are furious after flood defences failed during Storm Ciara
The Government has spent millions on flood defence systems across Yorkshire over the past four years, but they failed to protect residents and their businesses over the weekend
The River Ouse burst its bank in York leaving streets along the river submerged in water and business owners stranded
A bus is pictured crossing the flooded River Ouse below in York this morning
Members of the public watch as floodwater sweeps through the streets of York after the River Ouse burst its banks
People gather on a piece of dry land surrounded by floodwater in Brighouse, West Yorkshire
Fights break out at Gatwick and young children are forced to sleep on floor as airlines axe flights due to Storm Ciara with more gales and snow on way today
By Joe Middleton and Sophie Law for MailOnline
Fights broke out at Gatwick Airport and young children were forced to sleep on the floor as airlines axed flights due to Storm Ciara, with more gales and snow set to batter Britain today.
Commuters faced further havoc this morning, with the aftermath causing widespread disruption during rush hour as Britain’s biggest storm in seven years sweeps north, with winds of 60 to 70 mph are expected in parts of the country.
Passengers at the country’s second largest airport took to social media to complain about lengthy delays, scuffles and children reportedly sleeping on the floor, with holiday firm TUI coming in for criticism.
Passengers posted an image at Gatwick Airport of lengthy queues, while others complained of scuffles breaking out
Ade Peachey took to Twitter to complain about fights breaking out at Gatwick Airport while waiting in a queue
One Twitter user took to social media and criticise TUI, saying their child is having to sleep on the floor due to delays
Just after midnight Matt Rose posted a video of disgruntled passengers at Gatwick Airport and asked holiday operator TUI to ‘sort it out’
On Twitter, Joanne Rose, posted a picture holding her son and said: ‘This is after 14 hours being stuck at Gatwick airport with my 4 year old son and my 82 year old mother ! With not one person from your company to help us !!!! Disgusted is an understatement!!! The time is now 23.47.
And Ade Peachey said: ‘Absolutely disgusting service from your front desk at British Airways today. We were left standing for over 3 hours, some fights broke out in the queue which your staff didn’t even bother to get security for. As for your front desk staff, they need to relearn.’
The storm, which now threatens to be the ‘worst of the century’, is set to bring strong gales, heavy showers, snow and ice today as a yellow wind warning issued by the Met Office remains.
A couple have described how their ‘whole house shook’ after a tree crashed through the roof of their home during Storm Ciara, in Willington Derbyshire
A motorist on Monday morning braving flooded roads in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. Drivers have been advised to take care in what will be difficult driving conditions this morning
Ed Simons from The Chemical Brothers posted a photo on social media of a tree after it landed on a Mini Cooper after Storm Ciara
A motorist has miracle escape after car drives into a sinkhole which opens on suburban street in Brentwood, Essex. The massive depression appeared in the early hours of this morning as Storm Ciara raged
Train passengers are being advised to check with operators before travelling as there are likely to be some cancellations due to fallen trees, debris and other damage from yesterday.
There are already numerous reports of rail disruption, including trains on the TransPennine Express between Preston and Edinburgh being suspended due to flooding at Carlisle.
Driving conditions are also set to be tricky during the chaotic weather, and motorists have been advised to take care in difficult conditions, with closures on the M11, M25 and A21.
Snow hits the town of Bathgate in West Lothian, Scotland, as Storm Ciara continues its blustery assault on the British Isles
A flooded Tesco supermarket car park in Carlisle in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country this morning
Huge waves crash into the harbour wall this morning at Porthcawl in South Wales as Storm Ciara continues to batter the UK
The side of a house has come crashing down in high winds this morning. In Hamilton Circle in Leicester emergency services were called to a collapsed building at 4am today
More than 20,000 homes have spent the night without power as the UK continues to reel from Storm Ciara.
As of 5am on Monday, UK Power Networks reported more than 18,500 properties across the east and southeast of England were still without power while Western Power Distribution said more than 2,800 homes were in the dark.
Flooding and debris on rail lines caused delays and cancellations over the weekend as many major stations across the UK shut due to overcrowding, with at least 10 firms issuing a ‘do not travel’ warning.
Meanwhile, hundreds of flights were grounded – with London’s Heathrow airport the worst affected with more than 400 arrivals and departures axed.
Chief Meteorologist at the Met Office Frank Saunders said: ‘In the wake of Storm Ciara, it’ll remain unsettled and very windy across the UK and it’ll turn colder with wintry showers and ice an additional hazard, as we head into the new week.
‘A wind and snow warning is in force for parts of Northern Ireland and Scotland on Monday as well as a further yellow wind warning in the south west of England.’
A tree down on Glenluce Road, in Blackheath, as the effects from Storm Ciara are continued to be felt this morning
A police cordon blocks a road this morning in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday
Staff clean up flooding damage this morning at the Co-Op store in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria, in the aftermath of Storm Ciara which lashed the country Sunday
Workers clear a street in Mytholmroyd, northern England, on February 10, 2020 after flooding brought by Storm Ciara this morning