Leeds residents rally to save their homes from Storm Darcy flooding in Pudsey and Wortley

Leeds residents have rallied together and shown incredible community spirit to save their homes from devastating flooding in Pudsey and Wortley this weekend.

Sunday, 7th February 2021, 4:15 pm

Heavy rain throughout Saturday caused areas prone to flooding to be at a huge risk - with Troydale Lane in Pudsey and Branch Road in Wortley two of the worst hit areas.

The YEP spoke to residents at both locations on Sunday - with the community spirit of local residents praised across social media as news of their struggles spread.

In Pudsey, councillor Simon Seary - along with a crew of around 20 residents of a neighbouring estate - created a temporary flood barrier using sandbags donated by local business Farmac.

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In Pudsey, councillor Simon Seary - along with a crew of around 20 residents of a neighbouring estate - created a temporary flood barrier using sandbags donated by local business Farmac.

Water had flooded the street and was "knee deep" according to residents, having flowed over the top of a wall at a public footpath.

The fire service and police both arrived and assisted at the scene.

However, resident Craig Hustwit, 37, said "community spirit" was the main factor in stopping the flooding - with residents from across the estate pitching in to help.

Speaking outside his home, Craig told the YEP: "It was almost one year to the day since it last flooded.

However, resident Craig Hustwit, 37, said "community spirit" was the main factor in stopping the flooding - with residents from across the estate pitching in to help.

"It was knee deep, I had my waders on!

"People were fearing it might reach the top of their walls [and into their homes].

"It started flooding at about 1pm.

"At about 5, we started realising the water was coming over the top of the beck.

Josh Longford, Operations Director who helped at the scene, added: "Some people would take this as an opportunity to make money, however, in my eyes it’s a time to give back to the community and support those in need, without making an financial gain."

"Everybody was out helping, it is not just our estate, it is everyone's."

Along with around 20 other residents, Craig helped to create a temporary sandbag barrier along the footpath to contain the water.

The fire service also helped at the scene to ensure no water reached the homes of residents.

Craig, an Operations Director, added: "Farmac should be credited too.

However, Jordan Denny, 20 and Sophie Bradburn, 22, spent more than seven hours out on the street using sandbags to help contain the water.

"They brought more than 200 sandbags, two pallets, it was a massive help."

Craig said it was an amazing community effort to make sure none of the properties were flooded.

However, he called on Leeds Council to help strengthen the defences at the footpath in the future.

He said: "It has only flooded once before while I have been here, I have lived here for just over three years.

"What are we going to do if it floods again?

"[The council] need to extend the wall so we have a bit more leeway.

"Even if it keeps it under a foot deep when it floods, it means I won't need my waders!"

Councillor Simon Seary - who helped with the efforts - said the temporary sandbag wall had given "residents some peace that it wouldn’t break again".

In Wortley, two young residents helped to save their community after significant flooding at the Branch Road junction of the ring road.

The road was closed by police on Saturday night after becoming impassible.

However, Jordan Denny, 20 and Sophie Bradburn, 22, spent more than seven hours out on the street using sandbags to help contain the water.

Sophie owns local shop JBS and had recently purchased a large stock of sledges.

Using the bags the sledges came in, the pair gathered grit and made temporary sandbags to keep the flood water away from residents home.

They told the YEP they were out until after 1am on Sunday morning assisting Josh Longford from Dr Drainage - who had also given up his night to clear flood water free of charge.

Jordan said: "There was water absolutely everywhere.

"It got inside the cellars of a few houses after the stream opposite the junction burst its banks.

"We saw pictures on social media of what had happened first as we live a few streets back.

"I just thought 'something needs to be done'."

Together with Sophie, Jordan spent the rest of the evening filling sandbags and helping residents of the area.

Sophie closed the shop she owns to go and help him - much to the delight of residents who were saved.

She said: "We used the bags from the sledges I had bought.

"We didn't do it because we had to, we did it because we are good people."

Eddie Hardcastle, 38, and his wife Samantha, 39, have lived in the house on the corner of the junction for more than six years.

They described Saturday night as "chaos" - with police closing the road for the first time for a similar event.

The pair told the YEP without the help of Jordan, Sophie and the drainage company, their homes would have been flooded.

Eddie said: "I can't thank them all enough.

"If not for those two and [Dr Drainage] our house would be underwater.

"Police also closed the road very quick, which helped a lot."

Eddie said the water levels started to rise at about 2pm yesterday.

By 11pm, the flooding had worsened and residents' homes were under threat.

He added: "It went on until the early hours of this morning.

"The drainage company did an amazing job pumping the water back out from our garden.

"It was so nice to see the local residents helping us to, we are normally left to our own devices.

"It was a community effort."

Eddie called on Leeds Council to clean the drains in the area to attempt to ensure flooding would subside quicker in the future.

He added: "We live in a developed country and you think it would be a small job.

"The reservoir [opposite] and the gulleys need to be cleaned."

Fez Mazhar - Managin Partner of Dr Drainage who helped for free in Wortley - said it was their role to "help in any way possible".

He said: "‘Everyone was struggling getting sand bags so we thought the best thing would be to get all our team out to the closest b&q’s and purchase as many as possible.

"This proved to work and help everyone that needed them."

Josh Longford, Operations Director who helped at the scene, added: "Some people would take this as an opportunity to make money, however, in my eyes it’s a time to give back to the community and support those in need, without making an financial gain."

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