Flaming June became a washout as torrential rain wreaked havoc across the district.

Emergency and council services have been at full stretch as the month's average rainfall arrived in only 24 hours, with Bingley declared the wettest place in Britain.

West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service took 400 calls between 7am and 4pm yesterday from desperate homeowners wanting their flooded houses pumped out. Police put out urgent warnings to motorists to slow down on roads made treacherous by surface water but feared their advice was being ignored.

A male driver who tried to cross a flooded ford in his 4x4 in Cottingley had to be saved by firefighters in a dramatic hour-long rescue.

Keighley firefighters supported by a specialist rescue team from Leeds secured separate ropes to the man and his vehicle to stop them being swept further down Harden Beck.

The man had to climb out of his car and walk along a ladder on to the bank and to safety.

Firefighters and paramedics were also called out to Flappits near Denholme on the Halifax Road where a man, believed to be in his mid-30s, got trapped in his Honda CV car after it crashed into a stone wall in heavy rain yesterday. The man was taken to Bradford Royal Infirmary with head and possible internal injuries.

According to The Met Office, Bingley was the wettest place in the country - recording 2.8in (71mm) of rain in 24 hours.

Moorland roads at Moor Road in Menston, Otley Road at East Morton near Dick Hudson's pub and Goose Lane had to be closed and diversions set up. Leeds Road at Ilkley was also shut for a time after debris from a flooded beck washed up on to it.

Traffic on the A65 main road from Skipton to the Lakes got caught up in a three-mile tailback near to Long Preston after some minor flooding and a mudslide on the Skipton to Harrogate Road near Blubberhouses also caused some hold-ups. A man and a woman had to be rescued after their black Mercedes was caught in the landslip. A large section of the road has been closed to traffic and is expected to remain closed until Monday with diversions chanelling traffic into West Yorkshire, through Otley.

Rail commuters were thrown into chaos after rainwater disrupted train routes, journeys on the Bradford-Skipton line were cut back to one an hour each way, said operators Northern Rail.

Tracks at Menston were also flooded causing more delays and the subway between Platform 4 and 5 at Shipley Station was flooded.

Only a handful of the district's schools were affected by the floods, 350 pupils at Crossflatts Primary School got an early start to the weekend when they were sent home at lunchtime after a stream that runs nearby turned into a torrent and flooded two bridges that lead to it.

Head teacher Hilary Craven said: "In the seven years that the school's been here, we've never known or seen anything like it. It was running like a torrent. It was quite exceptional."

Priesthorpe and Crawshaw schools in Pudsey were also shut to most pupils after flooding caused electrical failure but GCSE exams were able to go ahead.

Staff at the newly-reopened George & Dragon pub in Apperley Bridge were holding their breath as the River Aire lapped six inches from the top of its banks. The historic pub only opened four days ago after a £215,000 make-over. Manager Kath Clark said: "We had sandbags at the ready but we seem to have got away with it this time. By lunchtime the sky had got lighter and we were breathing again."

Floodwaters along the Aire at Apperely Bridge and Esholt had peaked by about 3pm and were being monitored by Bradford Council which handed out sandbags to residents whose homes were most at risk.

The Environment Agency issued flood warnings from Apperley Bridge to Woodhouse Bridge, upstream from Buckmill Bridge at Thackley to Esholt and further downstream as well as putting the Ship Inn and part of Steanard Lane in Mirfield on alert.

Ireland Bridge at Bingley and Castlefields Lane at Crossflatts also experienced flooding Devastating downpours have also left organisers of numerous weekend events awash with misery, forcing them to cancel. Victims include Otley Carnival and Wibsey Gala which were due to take place today.

Otley Carnival organiser June Galling said the committee was "gutted" and added: "We had no choice. The showfield was waterlogged, even the parade was too risky to let go ahead because of all the water about. Health and safety had to take priority."

The last time the carnival was called off was during the Foot and Mouth crisis.

Friends of Wibsey Park chairman Keith Ellison said: "It would be absolutely hopeless, there's no way we could have gone ahead with it. There are showers forecast for the day and just one shower is one shower too many. We'll have to get the gala committee together again to see when we can have another go at putting it on."

Meanwhile volunteers behind a garden party at the Bishop of Bradford's home in Ashwell Road, Heaton, were saying prayers for finer weather today and determined not to call it off.

Funds will go towards the Cottingley Cornerstone project which is building a new church and community centre development. Maureen Clark, one of the garden party organisers, said: "We've got loads of gazebos ready, just in case but it's going ahead - whatever the weather." The party starts at 2pm.

By yesterday teatime water levels in the Wharfe and Aire were starting to drop but more showers, some thundery, were predicted for today.

Residents on a terraced street in Keighley had 4ft of water pumped out of their cellars last night.

People in six houses on Cedar Street were left counting the cost this morning after yesterday's torrential rain caused water to bubbled up from a natural spring that runs under their homes.

Fireman James Davis, was one of a team of nine firefighters, who spent almost four hours working until midnight at the scene to empty the cellars.

He said: "Some people used them just for storage, others had rooms down there. They must have had about 4ft of water each. It was the worst-hit area in the town. The cellars were still filling up as we were trying to pump them out."

Early today the Environment Agency gave the all-clear to the River Aire at Apperley Bridge and Esholt after flood waters subsided.

Flood warnings were also dropped for the River Calder at Mirfield and water levels along the River Wharfe were reported to be returning to normal.

Police are urging sightseers not to visit the region's worst flooded areas this weekend and risk becoming victims themselves.

Northern Rail said its train services were getting back on track today and hoped by Monday the usual timetable would be in place.

However, a major signal failure in the Halifax area caused by flooding meant there were no trains running between Bradford, Hebden Bridge and Huddersfield earlier today.

Tomorrow will bring in some sunnier spells but wet conditions are set to return early next week.