A NUMBER of sheep had to be rescued after becoming stranded on land when the River Wharfe burst its banks in Kilnsey on Sunday following the second of three named storms to hit the district within a week.

The water team with the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association was called to assist North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service from Grassington station. A number of animals were brought back to dry land.

There was an unexpected snowfall across the area on Saturday with the resultant melt adding to the rising flood water before the winds picked up again and a third storm hit on Monday morning.

The Environment Agency issued alerts as the rivers Ribble, Aire and Wharfe which runs through Craven devastated large swathes of land and flooded roads and properties. High winds brought down more trees causing delays for commuters.

There were reports of ridge tiles and slates coming off the roof of Magna House, in Long Preston while traffic was struggling to get through floodwater near the junction box on the A65 between Settle and Long Preston, and also deep water was affecting Rathmell Bottoms; a regular flood zone.

One Facebook poster early on Sunday morning said parts of the A65 was the worst he had ever seen it, especially between Addingham and Skipton, and between Skipton, Gargrave and Coniston Cold.

In Coniston Cold the fire service was called out to help deal with flood water which was pouring through the walls of a resident’s garden.

Bentham Fire Service was called out to attend to a report of a corrugated roof panel blowing in the wind on an industrial building. The crew had to weigh the panel down with heavy scaffolding boards and breeze blocks to prevent further damage.

There was better news to the east of Skipton where the Environment Agency’s £17.8m Skipton Flood Alleviation Scheme was working well at the weekend.

Skipton Golf Club, where one of two flood storage areas was built, tweeted on Sunday: “Skipton’s flood defence scheme working a treat thanks to the Environment Agency and @SkiptonGolfClub working together some years ago. It hasn’t been used too often and the water will likely have all gone within 24 hours. Amazing.”

The dams, completed in 2018, have been used to store and slow the flow of water from the surrounding hills, to help protect around 378 homes and 165 businesses in Skipton which have been affected by flooding in the past.

Sowarth Industrial Estate, in Settle, became a lake again as floodwater failed to disperse after several days of rain. The drainage system has caused problems for some time for businesses based there.

North Yorkshire Police issued advice with the worsening conditions and reminded people to check the Environment Agency website for river levels in a particular area and to sign up to their alerts: https://check-for-flooding.service.gov.uk/alerts-and-warnings

The police also reiterated drivers should not attempt to drive through flood water however tempting it may appear and to try and find an alternative route on higher ground.

More rain with wintry showers for a time mixed in was due today (Thursday) according to the Met Office which will add to the already saturated land and people are being reminded to be aware of potential flooding hotspots around the district.