Residents count cost of deluge

MIRFIELD residents have been mopping up and counting the cost after this week's torrential rain.

Flooding caused thousands of pounds worth of damage to homes and gardens in Bright Street after silt and dirty water poured from the former Taylor Hall Quarry site.

Hundreds of commuters were stuck in traffic jams for several hours during Tuesday morning's rush hour as the main A644 Huddersfield Road was closed after a bus became stuck in three feet of flood water.

The notorious Steanard Lane between the Ship Inn and Lower Hopton was also adversely affected by flooding from the rising River Calder and was barely passable by lunchtime on Tuesday.

On the Mirfield border at Cooper Bridge. three feet of water gathered under the railway bridge and the road was impassable.

A flood warning - the second highest state of alert - was issued by the Environment Agency at about 11am on Tuesday after the river threatened to burst its banks. This was also posted on the Reporter's website at www.mirfieldtoday.co.uk

The agency said the equivalent of more than six weeks' rain had fallen across West Yorkshire in just 24 hours.

Meanwhile residents in Bright Street awoke on Tuesday to find a river of silt and dirty water flowing from the former Taylor Hall Lane quarry down the street and through their gardens.

Resident Craig Sidebottom, who has lived there for four years, has been left counting the cost after dirty water from the quarry site flooded his cellar living room and destroyed furniture and electrical items.

His garden wall was also demolished by the force of the water.

Mr Sidebottom, and other residents, are blaming inadequate drainage on the quarry site for the flooding.

floating round room

"I woke up at around 8am to find about two feet of water in my garden. It was grimy, horrible sludge. I looked outside and the street was like a river.

"I went down to the basement and pushed open the door to find the furniture floating around the room.

"My priority then was to get everything upstairs."

Mr Sidebottom said he had contacted the environmental health department at Kirklees Council and asked them to come and test the water to see if it was not contaminated.

Fellow resident Viv Smith said the water and silt had dislodged his garage from its foundations, while the water was just inches from flooding his home and those of his neighbours.

Helen Roberts, who runs the Pear Tree pub with partner Shawn Ennis, said their cellar had been flooded and the beer garden had been submerged under flood water.

And because Huddersfield Road was closed near the pub on Tuesday, Helen said trade had suffered as a result, with customer numbers down considerably.

She said they had been worried all week about the River Calder bursting its banks while the heavy rain continued.

Mike Dobson, from the council's Highways department, told the Reporter they were investigating the drainage provision on the quarry site.

He said there was localised flooding throughout Mirfield with problems caused by drains unable to cope with the amount of water.

He described Tuesday's weather conditions as "exceptional" and said the council had issued hundreds of sandbags across Kirklees and had visited about 200 flooded locations to carry out risk assessments.

He warned drivers to take extra care during heavy rain and look out for raised manhole covers caused by the force of the water pushing them up.