Friday, January 01, 2016

Floods of Biblical Proportions Happened.

Photo taken by Martin Parr:1975: Manikinholes Methodist Chapel [near Hebden Bridge].

It was suggested less than two years ago that my town of Hebden Bridge   should be designated the UK's second city.
Today,as I write this ,the only businesses now  left open in the town are Nathan's Barbers:  Marco's Italian Greasy Spoon  
,2 small charity shops: Bonsalls DIY shop; The White   Lion Pub.; Boots Chemist &The Town Hall.That's all that left open/ habitable!
A week ago .Rain Came over a 12 hour period when  Floods of Biblical Proportions happened...
Destroyed in Hebden Bridge alone  are...2 churches;.3 Banks:8 pubs;The Post Office& sorting office; The Library:The Theatre:The Cinema:The Council's Elderly Day Centre:many hundreds of homes wrecked and/or  evacuated: The Coop Supermarket & approx 200 shops & business:factory units:are not habitable :bridges have collapsed:the only road out has a dirty big crack in it between Hebden bridge & Mytholmroyd.
Even 2 days ago 500 other homes in Hebden Bridge were without electricity.
This was just one town ! Others along the valley were just  as broken or,arguably, even worse.The towns and villages of Mytholmroyd:Todmorden;Copley:Sowerby Bridge:Brighouse:Midgley.etc etc all got hit    .......        
A Million things happened this week.Here are just a few Vignettes that will have to act as a taste of things.
Over the New Year Weekend, the local  Town Hall is where the volunteers are organised.
 A huge room (the size of a half a football field) has free dry foods that have been donated & you can come in and help yourself.Plus cleaning products.etc:a kitchen & cafe were the Muslims serve the free hot food. Legal Advice etc etc is also  given.
Local People offer their  skills for free so,[Hebden being Hebden ] you can even get free Reflexology!
Today (new year's eve) I went to our only remaining barber to get a haircut.The owner Nathan (with beard) was offering haircuts/beer & disco.A interesting combination........The kids & Mums seemed to enjoy it..!
Loyds Bank: Hebden Bridge: last Saturday morning.

Sadly I have heard some  terrible stories from neighbouring   Mytholmroyd. The (fairly new build) Catholic church The Good Shepard ( a mini Liverpool cathedral / built in-the-round) is totally fucking. I hear the 80 year old Parish Priest was rescued in the dark while wandering dazed & confused down a side street.waist deep in water.
Nearby, in a big posh housing estate , rescue services couldnt reach because of water levels.Local farmers went from door to door to check everybody was ok (apparently a lot of elderly people lived there) .They burst into one Living Room and  found a silent, immobile elderly gent sat upright in his armchair with  water all around his waist.......Two big farming lads had to carry him out  to safety.......
Read *here* how the town is organising how to mend itself (& how you might wishes to help)
Dec 31st 2015.Beer/Disco/Haircut Promotion:Nathan's Barbers,Hebden Bridge.

This week i having been doing my small bit by trying to help salvage the Council's Elderly Peoples Day Centre.
The British  Army are here.So are groups of Muslim volunteers, from as far afield as London, who have been here this week helping us.
A few of the many Muslim Lads from London (300 miles away!)who came this week help us.

The local Muslim Community has been amazing !Halifax Mosques have set up a food kitchen & have been shipping in daily hot free food.

This is another one  of my legendary Sepia Saturday   posts.


La Nightingail said...

Not a good way to start a new year! The Midwest here in the US is also experiencing severe flooding. Part of the storm that swept through California before & over Christmas bringing several inches of rain & then snow!

tony said...

We Have Heard Of Your Troubles here.The Weather is really strange. Also,forecasts here too say its turning much colder .The Weather is Bonkers! Saying That,My Best Wishes To You& Yours in 2016 .Love X

Alex Daw said...

Thank you for your posts here and on Facebook Tony. Somehow in all the Christmas madness I feel that the normal medua couldn't really give me a complete picture of what is going on. Hugs from the other side of the world.

Postcardy said...

That flood sounds terrible. There have been some really bad floods in the U.S. too.

Joanne Casey said...

Happy new year, Tony! x

Alan Burnett said...

My thoughts were with you and my other friends up the valley over Christmas. I was sat next to a chap whilst waiting for my Hospital appointment the other day who was ranting on as to why Huddersfield didn't get flooded whilst the Calder Valley did. According to him it was because people had stopped going to church in the Calder Valley! It's a funny God that punishes you for not attending church by flooding the church! Stay well, stay dry my friend.

Kristin said...

I'm glad people are pulling together to survive the flooding. We've had a lot of rain here and some isolated flooding in low lying areas near rivers and creeks but nothing at all like that. It was also pleasantly warm until last night when it went down to freezing and now, spoiled by the 70F plus degrees the last week or so, we are back to building a fire in the stove and wearing socks and sweaters and turning on heaters. Unpredictable crazy weather everywhere. Wishing you a 2016 with lots of people pulling together so we can all come out the other side alive.

Mike Brubaker said...

That's a terrible way to end 2015, Tony! The Lloyd's Bank photo says so much more than words. We have friends in Cumbria and in Oxford who endured similar record flooding in past years. It's always a dreadful mess to clean up and an enormous challenge for any business to rebuild. Best of luck.

Little Nell said...

As always you tell it like it really is. I’m sending my good wishes for a much better (and dryer) New Year.

Helen Killeen Bauch McHargue said...

So sorry to hear about all this devastation. But uplifting to hear about how people are working together. It makes you realize what is important
about life - gets your priorities in order. Best wishes for better times ahead. Love the music.

21 Wits said...

Gotta love those ladies! Happy New Year and thanks for the lovely song too!

Sharon said...

It made the news in Australia too, where this area has had both bushfires and torrential rains (not to your extent) within a couple of weeks.

Such as shame. Hoping that the clean up goes well.

Sauna in Mytholmroyd