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Last Updated: Wednesday, 22 June, 2005, 18:45 GMT 19:45 UK
UK flash floods: Your stories
Bridge destroyed by floods in Hawnby, North Yorkshire
Flash floods have struck North Yorkshire, cutting off villages, washing roads away and devastating homes.

In Yorkshire, drivers abandoned their cars and climbed trees to escape rising waters after the River Rye burst its banks.

Residents are returning to begin a massive clean-up operation after many were forced to leave their homes overnight.

Have you been affected by the flash floods? Tell us your stories and send us your pictures of the floods.

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

The following comments reflect the balance of opinion we have received so far:

I have boasted so much to my family back in France about how pretty they will find the church and its surroundings when they come to my wedding in 3 weeks time! Now the church yard is devastated, the stones are down, the church is full of sludge and has no power. But I wouldn't change the venue for the world. Hawnby is still beautiful Hawnby, even more so after the solidarity have witnessed amongst our community. Well done everybody, can't wait for the temporary bridge due tomorrow!
Catherine, Hawnby, UK

I have never seen anything like this before, the rain was so hard and the hail so big. My heart goes out to those in Sutton Thirlby and Helmsley but I know they will join together and get through it as a community as we always do.
Malcolm Aitken, Thirsk N Yorks

I had never seen the weather turn so rapidly or so violently
Lindy Vinue, Plymouth, Devon
Spent Sunday at the British Touring Car Championship Racing Event at Oulton Park, Cheshire. Having spent the majority of the day shade-diving and trying to avoid burning in the 31-degree heat, I was fighting a losing battle. But at 2.30pm the heavens opened. I had never seen the weather turn so rapidly or so violently. By the time we left Oulton Park we were in torrential rail and visibility on the roads was down to about 5-metres. Roads were rapidly flooding under the amount of pouring rain and pools of water were forming. It was terrifying. Within 15 minutes of motorway driving, however, we had chased through the weather and came through into blistering 31-degree temperatures once more. An almost phenomenal and frightening experience!
Lindy Vinue, Plymouth, Devon

Just like the thousands of other bikers attending the Farmyard Party, I was deeply shocked to see the devastation in the beautiful village of Helmsley. All our sympathy goes out to the local people, the marshals and traders at the rally and especially to Brian Thompson, the local farmer who lost so many of his livestock in the terrible floods. Our club left the site at 12 noon and it only started to rain when we arrived home. Rest assured, we will be back again next year to show our support to the event and to the community.
Steve Lindop on behalf of Mid-life Crisis MCC, Irlam, Greater Manchester

Until you've suffered from flooding like this you will never understand the trauma and stress involved in it all. Many believe the water coming in is the worst - but the aftermath is much worse. These people in Yorkshire have a huge task on their hands over the next few months and it will take all they have (emotionally) to get through it. My sympathies go to them all and I wish them every bit of luck in the coming weeks and months.
M Potts, Carlisle, Cumbria

My sympathies to everyone affected. We're going thru' our own flood woes but at least we had warning. I have family in the Thirsk/York/Sutton area so know the region well. Hope everyone there is safe.
Barb Stewart, Calgary, Alberta

Macclesfield was like something out of a feature film the rain was so hard
Pete, Macclesfield, UK
Macclesfield was like something out of a feature film the rain was so hard, it would stop completely then start again with hail into the bargain. I think global warming is going a bit far, this is a bad storm but we've had them as bad before. I wish all the best to those effected for a speedy recovery, staggered we haven't seen any response from the government prioritising domestic issues, stop squabbling in Europe and focus on this country for a change!
Pete, Macclesfield, UK

My husband and I spent Sunday at the British Touring Cars as Oulton Park. Blazing sunshine one minute, worst rain I have ever seen the next! The lightning was almost constant, and the thunderstorm itself went on for a good couple of hours. A very wet end to the day, but there were still plenty of brave souls sticking it out to the bitter end.
Jo, Cheshire, UK

At a certain stage the hailstones came down so hard they managed to burst my paddling pool.
Shane, Northallerton, N Yorks

I was lying in my garden when all of a sudden the sky went black, hailstone and rain came from the sky. My garden soon became flooded and then my house did, destroying all my new carpets and furniture.
Michael Shepherd, Northallerton

The biggest storm I have ever witnessed
Paul Lawless, Leeds, West Yorkshire
I left Stockport at 4 pm on Sunday and drove straight into the biggest storm I have ever witnessed. I couldn't believe I was still in the middle of the same storm as I approached Leeds. It never let up. I can only imagine the devastation caused to the residents of North Yorkshire. In 20 years of driving, It's the first time I considered leaving the motorway and waiting for this monster storm to pass.
Paul Lawless, Leeds, West Yorkshire

Ordinary TV channels do not work after last night's storms and we had at least 5 power cuts during the storm. It was really bad, it seemed to go on for ages.
Suzanne Sedman, Malton

I have just watched the BBC's 6 0'clock news coverage of the North Yorkshire floods. Terrible devastation, homes wrecked, lives ruined. And not a single solitary comment from any government minister. No mention of aid, of relief or of support.
Stuart Russell, Hull, Yorkshire

I had a call from my 95 year old Grandmother last night at 10:30pm to say that she and my Grandfather, 97 years old, were being evacuated from their home in Helmsley. They have lived right alongside the river for the last 30 years and this is the first time such a thing has happened. Luckily only the conservatory and the garage were damaged. The fire brigade and some of the family are now there to help. Thank God they're ok!
Julian, London

I've never seen hailstones like it before in my life
Anne Purbrick, Little Fencote, UK
The storm hit my village in the afternoon and the heavy rain very quickly turned into hail stones. They started as normal size but then grew into ones about an inch and a half big. I've never seen hailstones like it before in my life. The windows and roofs were being hit so hard I thought they would break. It was only after it cooled down that some of us in the village went outside and realised that all our cars had been dented by the huge hail and my neighbour's caravan had its windows shattered. I have kept some of the hail stones in my freezer for my boyfriend to see as he was 5 miles away and had told me it wasn't hailing at all!
Anne Purbrick, Little Fencote, UK

Look at some of the comments on this page: 'I've never seen a storm like it in this country before.', 'you think you have seen everything nature can throw at you', 'I think that was the worst storm in my area since 1999', 'hailstones the size of marbles! I've never seen anything like it' and 'I have never seen anything like it, rain drops so heavy I thought they would penetrate the conservatory roof'. The question I'd ask people is "How do you think climate change will manifest?" Not like the film The Day After Tomorrow for sure, but perhaps exactly like this?
Stephen Watson, Brighton, UK

On behalf of our Motorcycle Club (who attended the Farmyard Rally this weekend) we send our sympathy at the damage and destruction the floods have caused to your residents and village. We hope you soon get back to normality. Thank you for your continued hospitality to motorcyclists.
Keith Jackson on behalf of Thundercity Harley Riders Club, Leeds

We lost our electricity supply for about 2 hours last night - 8 40pm till 10 45pm. I went to bed early thinking it might be off all night. After seeing North Yorkshire this morning we got off lightly. It's the only time I'm grateful that Sheffield is so hilly, all water drains away.... How they will overcome problems like that in flat rural areas I really don't know.
Chris Jackson, Sheffield South Yorkshire

We were driving west on the M62, from a very hot and sticky Pontefract area, back to Lancashire. We hit an amazing storm high up by Huddersfield. Bolts of lightening in the hills about. Amazing heavy rain, with total loss of vision. No accidents because all motorists acted with sense and cut the speed. It's a long time since I have seen such a deluge...and such darkness and gloom too! Real sorry for the people to the North of us who must have bore the full brunt of the storm.
Michael Evans, Ormskirk, Lancs

About 3.00pm on Sunday afternoon the storm swept over the village and in less than an hour dumped about 5 cm of rain / hailstones onto the village. Once it passed the flooding in the garden subsided quickly but the damage to my car will take more to remedy. The hailstones of up to 40mm diameter have left the car roof and bonnet looking like they have been attacked by a hammer. I just hope the insurance company understands.
Chris Walker, Great Fencote near Northallerton, North Yorkshire

I have never seen anything like it. I was one of the last people to drive from Helmsley to Chopgate on the B1257. Normally this would take twenty minutes, last night it took me 2 hours as we had to stop at least ten times and walk through the flood water to work out where the tarmac was and sometimes clear debris from gulleys. In a couple of places the force of the water lifted the tarmac and in one place it looked like someone had tipped 60 tons of gravel on the road. We got to one bridge where the flood water was at least three feet deep and flowing over the bridge wall, within twenty minutes it dropped to a passable 15 inches. We must of had about 2 inches of rain in 30 minutes.
Peter Keay, Great Broughton, Stokesley

Well my sympathies to those affected by the weather yesterday. Personally I was completely astounded by the storm, it was brewing for hours and really showed us how fragile our existence is on this planet. What I witnessed last night was the best and most fantastic of Mother Nature and her worst.
Bev Randell-Eyre, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

I was driving home from The County Show in South Otterington when the rains came. I have never witnessed rain like that before, the A61 was flooded, you couldn't even see the car in front. At one point driving around the Ripon bypass everyone just stopped and waited for 5 or 10 minutes until you could see sufficiently to drive again.
John Bilton, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

I left Helmsley at 5.30pm, it had just started to rain. The storm had been threatening for over an hour, but broke about the time the clouds turned a weird grey-blue colour. The lightening was amazing! We drove over Sutton Bank to Sutton under Whitestone cliff. The hail was so fierce I thought the car's body had been damaged. The fork lightning was flashing all around - not just single forks, but massive blasts of energy, like a whole hands of lightening reaching down.
Clive Green, Helmsley

The last time I saw a storm like last night's was when I was the American Midwest during tornado season. The hailstones were huge and the thunder and lightning was constant. We lost our terrestrial TV signal too. As for the flooding, we knew something was up somewhere when we heard loads of sirens going as they headed towards Sutton Bank. There was a bit of flooding in Thirsk as well, but not as bad as in Helmsley. It's incredible to think how so much water fell in such a short time, especially as it had been so hot and sunny earlier in the day.
Chris Combe, Thirsk, North Yorkshire

I, like a lot of other bikers enjoyed myself at the Farmyard Party held in Helmsley and was amazed when I was told of the flooding. The good people of Helmsley make all the bikers welcome every year, I just wish that I lived nearer and could help out and give something back to the folks for putting up with the amount of bikers that descend on this tiny village year after year.
Maurice Griffiths, Spalding, Lincolnshire

I took my family to a lovely day out at Filey. On the way home, my father in-law had rang us to say that there had been a horrific storm over Halifax. As we got near Scarborough, we could see the storm from miles away. We couldn't even see through the rain as the whole storm was black. We decide to change route and go home on the A166 via Bridlington as the storm appear to be over Thirsk which was our original route home via Sutton Bank. When we saw the news and weather later, we were thankful that we made the decision! We could see the storm all the way home and it was spectacular. My thoughts are with the people caught up in its path.
Ian Bull, Halifax

The most violent storm we have ever experienced
R Coupe, Berkhamsted
Brought daughter home from James Cook hospital in Middlesbrough with our second grandchild in the most violent storm we have ever experienced - quite a start for the young'un! made it to Whitby, just, but could not get out of the car until the sheeting rain lessened. What a night! Then stuck on the A19 going home for an hour as it was flooded in two places near Northallerton.
R Coupe, Berkhamsted

Very unusual funnel type cloud formations here prior to the main storm. At tea-time, Stoke was plunged into what seemed almost like night-time, in sharp contrast to the bright sunshine of the previous day.
Richard Emra, Stoke-on-Trent

Fantastic sunshine at 3pm replaced within minutes with heavy rain followed by golf-ball sized hail stones at 6pm. Glass in the green house has shattered and storm drains locally unable to cope. All looks surprisingly quiet this morning - maybe 'cos there's still no TV (and no mention of it on web sites etc) although digital TV works fine!
Sean Barnett, Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham

The wind picked up suddenly and there was a localised vortex of spinning air that was very violent
H Turner, Durham, County Durham
Where I live, in Durham City - I thought that we would get away completely dry. It's because Durham City is arguably the driest place in the North. After several hours of watching storms in the near distance - brushing past the city by only a few miles, one storm finally hit us. The wind picked up suddenly and there was a localised vortex of spinning air that was very violent and lasted for about 1 minute. It was pretty awesome. The wind caused the rain to come down in torrents and you could hear rumbling in the distance for the rest of the evening and into the night. Despite that I am sure that other places have seen some much more severe weather than here, as we are fortunate not to have a flooded river.
H Turner, Durham, County Durham

Like thousands of other bikers, I spent the weekend at the MAG Farmyard rally, in Helmsley. I was in total shock this morning to see pictures of the damage the flooding had caused. Less than 24hrs ago we were all enjoying a fantastic weekend, the weather had made the entire weekend complete. Its terrible to imagine what could have happened if the storms had arrived just a day earlier.
Mark Smith, Blackburn, Lancashire

We were coming down the M1 at around 7pm, coming into Sheffield it was like a scene from the film 'Twister'; I told my children that we were going to drive through the heart of the storm and they should keep an eye out for lightning; As the sky grew ever darker lightning flashed constantly around us and the waves hit us in blinding sheets reducing visibility to around 20m, we were forced to go about 30mph. Yet still there were mad fools driving in the fast lane!
Chris Johns, London., UK

I used to live in Thirsk until 2003 and am shocked to see the pictures. Living in the South West, we already know what this is like with Boscastle, and I can only wish good lick to those that are affected.
David Brown, Ilfracombe, Devon

Tune into Radio York they are providing regular updates re the flooding including news of the Bilsdale TV Transmitter, apparently the engineers are drying out the equipment before switching on again.
John Fowler, Northallerton

I live in Birtley and it hit there too, one house got flooded and the fire service had to come and pump it out
Kate, Tyne and Wear
It's not just North Yorkshire that was hit by flash floods, I live in Birtley and it hit there too, one house got flooded and the fire service had to come and pump it out.
Kate, Tyne and Wear

The storm had been threatening a while and when it finally broke it was fierce. After a while you couldn't differentiate between one rumble of thunder and another and lightning was going off like a mad photographer's flash. The rain was absolutely torrential bringing visibility right down. It seemed to go on for ages.
Tracy Fisher, Manchester

I don't know if people realise, but the flooding did reach parts of Newcastle as well, nowhere near as badly of course, the flooded areas were clear in a couple of hours, but it was crazy! In Heaton, the main road was partially submerged and there was at least one car crash, and kids were playing in the water. Madness.
Martin Hogg, Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne

Two violent thunder storms last evening, never seen anything like that since I was a kid - now aged 50. Lightning was extremely beautiful and horrific at the same time. One has to remember that nature rules and quite rightly so. Man needs to remember that and respect it. Take care of the animals.
Patricia Petch, Wykeham, Scarborough

We have been without TV reception from Bilsdale transmitter for nearly 24 hours and although we do have cable TV so are only marginally affected it seems very odd that the local BBC newsroom in Newcastle has not so far even mentioned it. I would bet that if it was the Pontop Pike transmitter that was off something would have been mentioned about it, and that the fault would have been sorted out much more quickly.
Harold Fleming, Yarm, England

Back in Aycliffe the hailstones grew to the size of marbles, which smashed my next-door neighbour's green house
Donny Williams, Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham
My family and I had a lucky escape from the floods on Sunday. We had been visiting the Monk Farm tourist attraction near Thirsk. We left there at 15:00 Hrs when we heard loud thunder approaching. Twenty mins later we were practically driving through a river as the roads swamped with the deluge of water. It took over 3 hours to get home. Back in Aycliffe the hailstones grew to the size of marbles, which smashed my next-door neighbour's green house.
Donny Williams, Newton Aycliffe, Co Durham

I have the up most sympathy for those who are affected by the flooding. Until last night I had never seen anything like it so up close. However last night I found myself stood in approx 3 feet of water with colleagues and regulars pulling together to help save what they could, in a pub called Ye Olde Three Tuns, located in Finkle Street, Thirsk. Hats off to those who helped last night.
Michael Dresser, Thirsk, North Yorkshire

I've never seen lightning like it. Constantly flashing across the sky every five seconds or so. It came over very dark late afternoon and it felt like a storm was on its way, yet the clouds were still very high. The storm head made its way south from York pushing the wind before it. The rain was torrential. I thought it'd be over in a few minutes, as has been the case in the past, but no, it continued like that for over an hour. It cleared later in the evening and I thought that was it, but at about 11pm the sky was lit up again for over half an hour in over South Duffield/Bubwith. Most of it was contained in the cloud layer, but every so often there were some stunning strikes. I've never seen a storm like it in this country before.
Emma Seaton, Selby, North Yorkshire

At 50 years old, you think you have seen everything nature can throw at you, but, last night's storm certainly changed my mind! It took ages for the clouds to build, watching the first wisps of cloud turn into something that looked malevolent. I freely admit that after the extremely close strikes to us last night, I was scared! But, today's a new day and a new beginning.
Stephen Gardner, Whitwell, Derbyshire

It is devastating to think of the kind-hearted people and beautiful area that have been affected so badly after the storms
Drew Pearson, Ashton-u-Lyne
Helmsley was host to the annual Farmyard party for thousands of bikers this weekend. It is devastating to think of the kind-hearted people and beautiful area that have been affected so badly after the storms. In agreement with Sarah Scholey - I dread to think what would have happened should the storms have begun 24 hours earlier with thousands of people camping in the base of the valley! My sympathies to anyone affected!
Drew Pearson, Ashton-u-Lyne

I live in a village near the A57 towards Worksop and it was really bad last night we had no power from 6:30pm till 7:30pm and then no water till midnight. The thunder was really bad, bolt lightening hit a lot of places last night and the water wouldn't stop rising. It's made me realize how very lucky I am. My thoughts are with those who are recovering from the floods.
Katy, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

What a shock to wake up to this, its been the hottest weekend of the year down here and to find out that Yorkshire has been hit by flash floods is unbelievable. This seems to be becoming more common with it happening in Cornwall last summer and then it happens again now. Could this to be because of global warming? I hope everyone is ok and that the rebuilding job is completing swiftly and easily.
Bosley, Cheddar, Somerset

On Sunday the 19th June 2005, the area of Chester was hit by the worst rain in a long time, at first there was slight rumble of thunder and some lighting, then hail stones came done the size of frozen peas. If you looked up you could that the clouds were moving in three different directions, suddenly it rained it like it had never rained before, it rained constantly for 3 hours, it was like standing in the middle of a rainforest when it rains, suddenly the wind really picked up it made me think a twister was on the way. The village where I live was turned into a river, the main street was just rolling down the hill. I think that was the worst storm in my area since 1999.
Tom Crute, Chester, England

I was driving a small Renault 5 from Scarborough to Ripon on the A170 when we drove into the storm, we were forced off the road at one point as the storm made visibility nigh on nil, flood waters on the road were nearly in the car and the gearbox and brakes were unusable, we were looking for a place to leave the road when the car in front of us dropped into a ditch and water came up to the back windscreen. After a while we had to continue on and needed to go down Sutton Bank, the 45 degree cliff face road with water gushing down it, fire engines and ambulances were rushing past. We certainly escaped the worst of the weather but I wanted to confirm what Tom Crute has said - the wind was blowing the clouds in different directions at the same time (sometimes 180 degrees different). The storm blew past us but just as it was clearing our area, the wind swung round 180 degrees and blew it back. We know people in Helmsley and it was a complete shock to find this beautiful and historic village has been so badly affected. We hope everyone there is safe although cannot begin to imagine the damage to their property.
Jason Munro, Warrington, Cheshire

Just to add a small amount of additional detail to your report about last nights flooding in the Helmsley area. In addition to the rescue effort described in your report, two mountain rescue teams assisted with the search and recovery tasks. Both ourselves Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team and Cleveland Search and Rescue Team were involved. Swaledale originally assisted the ambulance service in Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe, and Cleveland was involved in Helmsley area. Both teams are volunteer teams and work in the region's remote and upland areas to assist lost walkers and climbers, but last night used their transferable skills to help the police in search and recovery following the floods.
Paul Denning, Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team, Sutton-under-Whitestonecliffe

Along with thousands of other bikers, my partner and I spend last weekend in Helmsley, taking part in the Farmyard rally which takes place there every year. I shudder to think what would have happened had the rain arrived 24 hours earlier. The river runs alongside the campsite, which I can only assume is now completely flooded. The people of Helmsley made us so welcome and it's such a beautiful area. It's a terrible thing to happen.
Sarah Scholey, Leeds, West Yorkshire

I agree with Sarah, having been at the MAG Farmyard Festival myself this weekend in Helmsley. I'm sure that along with many other bikers I will be returning to Helmsley every Sunday to show my support for this pretty village which freely allows us bikers to meet there without prejudice. We ain't all bad!
Ryszard, Darlington

No floods here, but after a high of 86 degrees, the temperature plummeted before a huge thunderstorm erupted overhead, lightning nearby and hailstones the size of marbles! I've never seen anything like it.
Brian, North Turton, Lancashire

The only effect the storm has had on the Harrogate area is complete loss of television reception via the Tyne Tees mast. Lots of people without TV still on Monday. The odd thing is there is nowhere to find out what is happening - no web sites with any news, even Tyne Tees TV makes no mention, nor does yours at BBC. Odd.
Nick Smedley, Harrogate, North Yorkshire

I am glad to see Nick Smedley's comment about the loss of the TV reception. I too am amazed that there is no mention of the loss or any prognoses. Here in Crakehall North Yorkshire, we have also lost the telephone lines since the storm on Sunday afternoon. I have never seen anything like it, rain drops so heavy I thought they would penetrate the conservatory roof, rain so torrential that it formed rivers running down the road then hail stones the size of marbles, some even bigger, and thunder that continually rumbled without a pause for about ten minutes culminating in a flash of lightening and a ear splitting crack of thunder the like of which I have never heard before.
S Edgar, Crakehall UK


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