Flash flooding in Todmorden, West Yorkshire

Click/tap the image above to view a panoramic 360° view of the scene in your browser. 

Flash flooding hit parts of Todmorden on the afternoon of Monday 29th July 2013, and affected the areas of Gauxholme and Shade, as well as further upstream in the village of Walsden and elsewhere.

The worst part near us was Rochdale Road being flooded by an overflowing Walsden Water, between Shade and Gauxholme in Todmorden. The force of the rapidly rising water pushed against the sides of the bridge, collapsing the walls and pushing out through the retaining walls. The resulting water and masonry quickly filled Rochdale Road. This then poured down the road, flooding adjacent properties. A video of this can be seen below. The aftermath of the severely damaged bridge can be seen in the 360° panoramic photo at the top of this page.

I live here, so this was something which directly affected me and my neighbours. Many were worse affected than we were. Below is a series of hastily-shot images from the day (I was more concerned about helping muck in – and muck out – than take decent photos or videos at the time), as well as some of the aftermath in the area.

As with previous recent floods in the upper Calder valley, there will be debate, speculation and frustration at some of the infrastructure, mechanisms and organisations tasked with monitoring and redcuing flood damage: whether they worked as planned, or provided the necessary support or subsequent reaction after the incident. The flood sirens only went off after the floods peaked, providing no useful warning as the sensors they rely on don’t monitor this part of the river network.

However thanks go to Calder Valley Flood Victims group on Facebook, Calderdale First / Calderdale Council, Community Foundation for Calderdale, Environment Agency and contractors Volker Stevin for a lot of hard work clearing up the mess afterwards. Most importantly, to all the volunteers and residents in the area who worked tirelessly to try and resist the floodwater, as well as clear it up subsequently. And no thanks to the handful of selfish, dangerous drivers who drove recklessly through the floodwater, sending waves into homes and residential streets, despite people trying to slow them down.

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