Community spirit shines through after parts of North Kirklees hit by flash floods

A sudden deluge of rain brought out the best in the local community as schools, shops and businesses were hit by flash floods.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 1:04 pm
A car battles the flood water at Chain Bar roundabout

A half-hour thunderstorm late on Thursday afternoon caused havoc in Mirfield, Liversedge and parts of Cleckheaton.

Drains couldn’t cope with the sheer volume of water and several local schools were forced to appeal for help to prevent worse damage and start the clean-up.

Old Bank Academy in Mirfield was closed today (Friday) while Mirfield Free Grammar saw the science block and sports hall engulfed. Several classrooms were out of action and Year 13 students were asked to switch to online learning today.

The sudden deluge created hazardous driving conditions

Crowlees and Battyeford schools were also hit by flooding, along with Mirfield town centre businesses including Flowers at 180 and Wood’s dental practice.

There were also reports of drains on Huddersfield Road, Mirfield, overflowing with sewage close to Mirfield Showground.

At Old Bank, part of the Impact Education Multi-Academy Trust, head teacher Judy Wood had just finished a governors’ meeting where members had remarked how fantastic the school looked after work over the summer.

Staff watched in horror as water gushed over 3ft high out of drains and poured into the school.

Within 13 minutes half the school was flooded, including the brand-new parent hub, staff room, rainbow room, reception area, office, kitchen and hall, PPA room and corridor.

Ms Wood said: “We’re gutted that this has happened, especially since the massive amount of refurbishment and building work over the summer holidays.

“Luckily none of the classrooms were affected and pupils will be back in school on Monday after a full risk assessment and deep clean has been completed.”

Staff from Impact Education MAT sourced additional support from outside services and were at the school until late Thursday evening and were back at the academy at the crack of dawn Friday morning.

“I’m blown away with the amount of support everybody has given us,” added Ms Wood.

“We had all the cleaners in and all the teaching staff supporting us. There wasn’t one single person in the building without a brush and a squeegee in hand. It was a real team effort.”

It was a similar story at Crowlees where head teacher Kathy Woods described a “torrent” of water coming down the hill and into the school.

An appeal for help saw parents, neighbours and the local community rush to help with sandbags, mops and brushes.

“We count ourselves lucky,” said Mrs Woods.

“The community were brilliant and parents came down with pizza for the workers. It just shows what a great community spirit we have.”

Elsewhere, there was a flood alert on the River Spen and Chain Bar roundabout was flooded with vehicles abandoned in the road.