Storm Christoph: Major floods avoided in West and South Yorkshire

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image copyrightWeather Watchers/Portland Bill
image captionDespite high river levels in the Upper Calder Valley, the Environment Agency said it had received no reports of damage to homes

Residents in flood-prone areas in West Yorkshire have spoken of their relief after serious flooding was avoided during Storm Christoph.

A Met Office amber warning for rain has ended, with hopes several flood warnings will be lifted on Thursday.

In South Yorkshire, some roads were closed due to flooding but no major incidents were reported.

Flood wardens said improved flood defences and a changing forecast lessened the storm's impact.

As of 13:45 GMT, 11 flood warnings remained in place in West Yorkshire, mainly in areas along the flow of the River Aire.

On Wednesday, Calderdale Council warned river levels across the catchment of the upper River Calder were approaching levels where properties were expected to flood.

However, on Thursday morning the local authority said there was "relief across Calderdale after an anxious few days", with river levels dropping.

image captionThe River Aire in Castleford was high on Thursday morning, with a flood warning in place at Castleford Lock Lane

Adrian Gil, Environment Agency area flood risk manager, said: "We've got an improving picture for many communities across Yorkshire, particularly in West Yorkshire.

"We do still have some high river levels around and that may still trigger some flood warnings as that water moves down, but we're not expecting any issues at the moment."

He added: "Without question, some of our flood defences will have protected some people, but I suspect we've seen river levels that were lower than what was forecast."

Northern said rail services between Leeds and York via Garforth have been disrupted due to flooding in the Garforth area, with bus services replacing trains throughout the day.

A Covid-19 testing centre at Meadowhall in Sheffield has been closed until Friday due to the risk of flooding.

image copyrightWeather Watchers/Sprotbrough Lass
image captionHigh river levels on the Don in South Yorkshire saw footpaths flooded in Sprotbrough near Doncaster

Katie Kimber, who lives in Luddenden Foot in Calderdale and is a flood warden for Mytholmroyd, said her local area was feeling "very relieved".

"The rain has not fallen as we expected, in some cases it was lighter than expected and it fell in different areas so it's a combination of things," she said.

"I think we've been extremely lucky, we should still be vigilant as we know things can change quickly."

image copyrightDoncaster Council
image captionA temporary barrier was built around Dearne Valley Leisure Centre, which is being used as a Covid vaccination centre

A major incident was declared in South Yorkshire on Monday, with more than 40,000 sandbags distributed in flood-risk areas and a barrier built around a Covid vaccination centre in Mexborough.

Damian Allen, chief executive of Doncaster Council, said: "Every day we've had 250 to 300 people out and about, as well as a lot volunteers, to help us prepare temporary defences.

"We were pleased the Met Office gave us an earlier warning, that wasn't the case in 2019 and therefore we didn't have the opportunity to prepare."

He added: "The rain predicted yesterday just hasn't materialised in the same way, it has been surges of rain and it has deferred the impact."

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