Shops and business owners stage rescue operation as Padiham hit by floods in wake of Storm Ciara

These were the scenes in Padiham earlier today as the River Calder became a raging  torrent, flooding parts of  the town centre, in the wake of Storm Ciara.

Sunday, 9th February 2020, 3:31 pm
Updated Sunday, 9th February 2020, 3:37 pm

The scenes, reminiscent of the Boxing Day floods of 2015, when the town experienced the worst flooding for over 50 years, saw business and shop owners out in force early this morning protecting their premises with sandbags.

Among those involved in the rescue operation was Vanilla hair salon owner Victioria Holland along with friends and relatives who pitched in to help.

Senior stylist Jodie Forrest praised the community of Padiham for once again pulling together.

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This photograph taken by Dianne Briggs shows the dangerously high level of the River Calder at Padiham earlier today.

She said: "Everyone has tried to help each other again but once again a lot of people have been affected by this, not just shops and businesses but people's homes too."

Flood barriers installed at the Burnley Road salon after the 2015 floods helped to salvage the front part of the shop but flood water pouring into a side street entered the rear of the premises where there are sinks for washing clients' hair and also a kitchen area.

Jodie added: "We had managed to move all the electrical equipment upstairs before this happened and cleared many items from the kitchen too.

"It is just a shock that this has happened again."

Flood water in Padiham town centre looking towards the Tesco store. (photo by Dianne Briggs)

Padiham's Tesco store remained open this afternoon although shoppers had to access it from side roads at the back of the store.

Police had to erect a cordon on the banks of the River Calder behind Padiham Town Hall to keep photograph hunters away from danger at the water's edge.

Several people had also parked their vehicles on the fire station car park, causing a potential obstruction if firefighters were called out to an emergency incident.

Another view of the River Calder at dangerously high levels to the bridge in Padiham (photo by Dianne Briggs)
Flood water flows into the side street next to Vanilla hair salon in Burnley Road, Padiham (photo by Jodie Forrest)