Saturday 23rd June 2012, 3.40pm (day 303)
Between about 10pm last night and 4am this morning Hebden Bridge town centre was under about 2 feet of water. (As you can see from many other pictures on this site we live 50 or so feet above the valley floor: luckily.) It drained quickly, and by the time I got down there at 10am, the flood water had gone. So no pictures of that.
But the damage had been done. At least half the businesses in the town centre were not open today and some might be closed for two weeks or more, a great dent in income in a time of diminished revenue as it is. The fire service were doing wonders, working all day to pump out cellars and basements. But although it did rain a lot yesterday, let’s also consider that most of the drains in this town are regularly blocked by dirt, leaves and debris because the Council don’t clean them: and we supposedly have a rather expensive flood defence system installed two miles up the valley (built after the last big flood in 2000) – which, for reasons no one is very clear about yet (was it not activated? Or simply inadequate despite the money spent?) – has failed. People couldn’t get hold of sandbags to protect their property. It’s the people, the businesses, of Hebden Bridge who will be picking up the costs of these mistakes.