City streets flooded after deluge

Torrential rain and hail brought flash floods to Leeds on Tuesday - sparking hundreds of calls to the fire brigade.

Business premises, homes and streets were swamped under water up to a metre deep as 41mm of rain fell in two hours.

West Yorkshire Fire Service described the deluge as "extraordinary", sparking about 250 flood-related call-outs.

"We've been extremely busy," said a brigade spokesman. The worst-hit areas were Morley, Hunslet and Beeston in the south of the city.

Businessman Graeme Bickerdike, said: "This is right next to an industrial estate I was visiting which was flooded up to a depth of a couple of feet within a very short space of time.

"A lot of businesses were evacuated as the waters started rising and I imagine a lot of damage has been done because it all happened so fast.

"I had to quickly move my car because it was about to be washed away in the flood water and I saw some people trapped in upstairs rooms in houses nearby."

The fire service said it had not had to rescue anyone but had been stretched by calls to deal with flooded streets.

The Met Office had earlier issued a severe weather warning of heavy rain affecting all parts of Yorkshire.

Continuity Forum Note

Relatively simple measures can dramatically mitigate the effects of flooding if your organisation is in an area likely to be affected. Storage/Racking systems can elevate valuable stock to a level above flood waters and Key IT and Telecoms systems can be located so as to avoid the effects of flooding. UPS systems can help manage power outages and combined these measures can aid a swift recovery, helping the organisation continue operations normally once access is restored.

Insurance Exclusions and Exceptions are also often an issue, particularly for smaller companies and it is vital that policies are carefully checked each year to ensure that you recieve the cover needed.

Just because you aren't near a river or lake don't think you'll not be affected either, a burst water main can cause a major flooding incident in just a few minutes with heavy tarmac/paved areas preventing 'drain away'. In these instances the flood water will often follow the road layout. Flooding in South London last year brought widespread damage in just 20 minutes on a completely dry day and for many businesses the consequences lasted for months!


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