Flood update: Fire chief reflects on frantic afternoon caused by floods

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Fire crews faced an unprecedented number of incidents as floods swept through the Ribble Valley today.

Reflecting on the afternoon’s events, Dave McGrath, watch manager at Clitheroe Fire Station, told the Clitheroe Advertiser and Times that many of the incidents that his firefighters had attended could have been prevented.

The flooding on Whalley Road in Clitheroe this afternoon. (s)

The flooding on Whalley Road in Clitheroe this afternoon. (s)

“A lot of these incidents were preventable and would not have happened if people had delayed their journeys until the rain had stopped and water subsided,” said Mr McGrath, who crews worked tirelessly responding to 27 call outs this afternoon in just 90 minutes.

All the call outs were to flooding related incidents in Clitheroe, Whalley, Barrow and Billington.

Three people had to be rescued from their car which got stuck in flood water under the railway bridge at Waddington Road, Clitheroe, and two elderly people were rescued from their car which also got stuck in the floods underneath the railway bridge in Billington.

Firefighters also came to the aid of a young woman who needed to be rescued from her car after it got stuck in flood water on Whalley Road, Clitheroe, near Hatty Boo’s dog grooming salon.

Mr McGrath explained that responding to jobs had to be prioritised on whether there was any risk to life.

He added that on a positive note, as with the recent flooding in Cumbria, the local community soon rallied around to help those affected by the flooding.

The staff at Clitheroe’s Homebase store came out in force providing sandbags to affected businesses and properties on Whalley


Tonight businesses in Whalley are counting the cost of the floods which descended on the village as it celebrated Whalley Day during which its variety of small, independent shops and businesses were offering a range of bargains to shoppers in a bid to boost pre-Christmas sales.

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