Parts of the Bradford area remained on flood red alert today as more rain was forecast.

Floods caused by yesterday's downpours saw businesses evacuated, forced people out of their homes and left a row of cars parked near Shipley rail station under water.

The Environment Agency last night warned that river levels were expected to continue to rise with the Aire being a "cause for concern".

A spokesman said: "Rain is forecast over the next few days, we don't know exactly how much worse it will get. The ground is saturated and rivers are highly sensitive. The risk of further flooding does remain high.

"All we can do is monitor the river levels. Severe floods can endanger lives and people need to stay aware of the situation themselves through the media and via the agency to look after themselves and their property.

"It is a case of watch and wait."

Workers at a Silsden factory had to be helped to safety by firefighters when the building was cut off by floodwaters.

Fire crews set up a rope system to get about 100 employees at conveyor belt company Habasit Rossi Ltd through the torrent, which was thigh high in places.

United Carpets of Shipley, at the Baildon Bridge Industrial Estate, suffered a foot under water throughout its large warehouse - leaving the owner, Adrian Lee, with an estimated £100,000 of damaged stock.

He said: "First thing in the morning it was fine, although you could see with how high the water was that something was going to happen.

"It started coming into the shop at about 11.45am and by 1pm there was a foot of water throughout the entire store, and it was still rising. You can see the water rushing in through the front door. I would say about £100,000 of carpets, beds and laminate floors have been ruined."

The warehouse of Paynter's Flooring Contractors Limited, housed in the same building, was also flooded.

And Greens Gym in Otley Road, Baildon, had to be evacuated as staff piled up sandbags to try to protect it from floodwaters.

Flooding also affected Baildon Recreation Centre, in Green Lane, where the Baildon Jitsu Club, which has three British champion titles, lost between £5,000 and £10,000 of equipment.

Instructor Raj Soren said the club was now looking for a new venue so the members, aged six to 17, can continue their sport.

He said: "We have been here for five years and nothing like this has happened before."

Houses in Aire Close, off Coach Road, Baildon, were surrounded by water that had come over the banks of the River Aire.

Most of the residents had left their homes by early evening but William and Rachel Eastell were determined to remain in the Bradford Community Housing Trust-owned house.

Last night Mrs Eastell, 35, said neighbours had been flooded, but so far her home had stayed dry. She said: "I phoned the Council up at about 10.30am to ask for sandbags, because the water had gotten up to the door."

The A629 at Kildwick was flooded near its junction with the dual carriageway and water swept into the home of Rita Palfryman and her three children.

She said: "This is the second time we have been flooded since 2001. We just can't stop the water coming in from the nearby beck.

"We lost everything last time and it looks like it might happen again."

Residents in Ferrand Lane, Bingley, moved possessions to the first floor of their homes waiting for the inevitable to happen.

Other areas badly hit included Skipton. Flood waters made most of the major roads out of the town impassable for much of yesterday.

And the main rail line services between Skipton, Morecambe and Carlisle and south to Keighley, Leeds and Bradford were suspended.

Cellars at homes in Bold Venture Street, Skipton, were flooded up to four feet deep when the nearby Leeds-Liverpool canal spilled over.

Schools closed yesterday by the flooding included Aireville Primary in Silsden, South Craven School in Cross Hills, Shelf Junior and Infant School and Branshaw Special School in Keighley.

The Nell Bank Activity Centre in Ilkley also fell victim to the weather.

Bradford Council was inundated with more than 100 calls for sandbags.

Mike Powell, its emergency planning manager, said: "The Council has responded to a huge number of calls about flooding and we expect this to continue over the next couple of days.

"We do have some sandbags available but we must prioritise them for vulnerable people and to maintain access for the emergency services, to protect vital facilities within the community and to protect the main transport routes.

"The Council's drainage, highways and streetscene departments are dealing with flooding, and all other services are on standby, including rest centres.

"We are working with the police, the Fire and Rescue Service, the Environment Agency, the Met Office and the National Health Service to manage the situation."

A spokesman for West Yorkshire Fire Service said there had been widespread flooding across the county.

Many commuters suffered long journeys home last night as rail services in and out of Bradford were badly disrupted because of flooded lines.

  • For up-to-date information about flooding, log on to and follow the links for floods.
  • For more information on trains, passengers can call MetroLine on (0113) 2457676.
  • Sandbags can be obtained from Bradford Council, for emergency use, by calling (01274) 431000 or texting 07786 208 100.