Floods bring chaos to district’s roads

Ilkley Gazette: A family survey the flooded children’s play area at Wharfemeadows Park in Otley and top the warning sign posted on the gates A family survey the flooded children’s play area at Wharfemeadows Park in Otley and top the warning sign posted on the gates

Key roads and transport routes were returning to normal today after flooding caused major disruption throughout Wharfedale.

Some drivers were forced to abandon their cars between Pool-in-Wharfedale and Otley after the River Wharfe overflowed during heavy and persistent rain on Tuesday.

The flooding caused the A660, between Otley and Burley-in-Wharfedale, to be closed for more than 24-hours, while a section of the A659 at Maple Grange Bends was also closed for several hours yesterday.

Leeds City Council took the decision to close Wharfemeadows Park, on the banks of the river in Otley, as a precaution due to its regular use by schoolchildren while the river levels remained high.

However, all major road routes were open again this morning as water levels in the River Wharfe recede and no more heavy rain is forecast this week.

The disruption began in the worst of the rain on Tuesday morning.

Routes between Ilkley and Otley were hit first, with the closure of the A660 between Otley and Burley-in-Wharfedale and the A65 at Manor Park Bends, between Burley and Ilkley.

The A660 remained closed yesterday (Wednesday) between Otley’s Bradford Road roundabout and and the Burley bypass, because of a long stretch covered in water at Maple Grange Bends.

The A659 Pool Road between Otley and Pool-in-Wharfedale was also closed yesterday after two vehicles attempted to drive through the water and broke down.

They were abandoned as other drivers passed by on pavements and verges.

Flooding was also affecting traffic both ways at the A659 Otley Road's junction with the A61 near Harewood.

The river level at Pool Bridge - which came very close to reaching the highest ever level recorded there, 3.77 metres, on Tuesday – began falling on Wednesday, and was down to 3.25 metres by 8am.

There were delays to public transport in Wharfedale on Tuesday and yesterday. Some buses were unable to run to Ilkley on Tuesday.

Wharfemeadows Park was also reopened as river water levels receeded.

Meanwhile, firefighters from Rawdon were called out late on Monday to a house in Apperley Bridge after water seeping into the floor affected the electrical system. They spent two hours pumping water out from underneath the house in Little Park.

Parts of East Holmes Field in Ilkley were also under several feet of water, and water flooded across a nearby cricket ground as the town bore the brunt of persistent heavy rain through out the day.

Water thundered under Ilkley’s bridges and swept tree trunks downstream, while some residents living close to the river put out sandbags as a precaution.

However, it is not believed any homes were affected by the flooding.

Yesterday, a Twitter message from Leeds Peace and Emergency, a city council Service working in partnership to build resilience, manage risks & respond to emergencies in Leeds, said things had calmed down and no new warnings or alerts are expected.

“Thankfully, sounds as though things quietening down,” the message said.

“Issues remain in several areas so please take care when around flooded areas.”

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