Strong winds brought mayhem to Bradford city centre yesterday.

Firefighters had to be called in after a piece of metal was seen hanging dangerously off an empty shop front.

Metal signs around the now-closed TJ Hughes building, in Sunbridge Road, were left dangling after being caught in the strong winds.

The police, concerned for the safety of pedestrians, contacted the fire service, who went out at 11.30am yesterday to make the building safe.

Bradford fire station crew commander Andy Barnes said: “It was a request from the police because it was a dangerous structure. An advertising board was loose, so we made it safe for people to walk past.

“The police had shut the path off and we had to shut the road off to do our job, which obviously caused a lot of traffic mayhem.”

A firefighter was lifted up on a hydraulic ladder to remove large sections of the metal signage.

The road was reopened at about 12.15pm.

Winds also ripped protective sheeting from the scaffolding surrounding the former Odeon building, in Prince’s Way.

The gales in Bradford yesterday morning reached up to 35 miles per hour, according to the Met Office. There was more wintry weather forecast for today, with breezy and cold conditions expected.

TJ Hughes, Bradford’s last city centre department store, closed in 2011.

Last night, a spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “We're warning of a continued risk of localised flooding over the next few days, even though conditions are set to improve as more settled weather arrives over the UK in time to mark the start of 2013.

“Large rivers that respond slowly to rainfall will continue rising through the next couple of days and high groundwater levels will continue to pose a risk to communities.”

Yesterday, a flood warning was put in place on the River Wharfe at Bolton Bridge, an area with properties on both banks of the river.

There were flood alerts for the River Calder Upper Catchment from Todmorden to Brighouse, and the River Aire Upper Catchment from Gargrave to Stockbridge, including Eshton Beck, Eller Beck and Silsden Beck. A further alert was in place at Glusburn Beck in Cross Hills and Sutton-in-Craven.