This is how badly Leeds was affected by Storm Dennis

Leeds avoided a repeat of the disastrous 2015 Boxing Day floods as the city was battered by wind and rain for the second week in a row.

Sunday, 16th February 2020, 5:38 pm
Updated Sunday, 16th February 2020, 5:40 pm

There were fears that the River Aire could flood as river levels were still high following Storm Ciara last weekend.

But Storm Dennis proved less troublesome, with only brief outbreaks and heavy wind and rain, mainly on Saturday night and into Sunday morning.

There was some minor disruption on Sunday as surface water forced train cancellations at Kirkstall.

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Flooding on the tracks at Kirkstall.

The beer garden at the Kirsktall Bridge Inn also flooded, as it often does when water levels are high.

There were flood alerts in place along the River Aire, but they were not upgraded to flood warnings as expected

Flood warnings were in place at Pudsey and Tyersall Beck and for the River Aire at Allerton Ings, towards Castleford.

An exit slip road on the M621 was also closed for a short time due to flooding.

The flooded beer garden at the Kirkstall Bridge Inn.

River levels peaked at around Sunday lunchtime and began to subside shortly after, according to staff at the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme.

Moveable weir gates at Crown Point and Knostrop, completed in 2017, were used to control river levels.

A Met Office yellow weather warning for rain in Leeds is in place until 9pm tonight (Sunday), while a wind warning remains in place until 11am on Monday.

The army was sent in to bolster flood defences in Ilkley and Calderdale, but they did not see a repeat of the large scale flooding brought on by Storm Dennis.

In Leeds, Cardigan Fields shopping centre was evacuated last week, and railway lines were disrupted.

Millions have been spent on flood defences on Leeds, but there is still at £23m shortfall if the highest level of protection is to be provided.

Construction of further flood defences began in January of this year, with all the stage one works expected to be complete by winter 2022.

The flood defence walls and embankments created in this stage of the works will provide a one-in-100 year level of protection.

The second stage of the works will upgrade the scheme to the full one-in-200 year protection level, but only once funding is found to cover the shortfall.

Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves has called on the Government to fully fund Leeds' defences after the "near-miss" of Storm Ciara.

“Residents and business owners need to feel safe in their own properties and should not have to endure more sleepless nights every time there is heavy rain. I hope this near-miss will be the wake-up call the Government needs to finally fund and deliver proper flood defences for Leeds,” she has said.