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Elderly residents had to be carried from Gilling West home
A MONTH’S rain in 24 hours brought chaos and disruption to North Yorkshire, with police asking motorists not to travel if they could avoid it.
Fire crews had more than 270 emergency call-outs, including rescuing 16 elderly people from a care home that had to be evacuated when flood defences failed.
At one point, a 40-mile stretch of the A1 northbound was closed from Dishforth, as traffic was swamped by the deluge.
Overnight, the road was closed between junction 49 at the A168 and Catterick , with traffic diverted onto the A19.
A spokesman said: “North Yorkshire Police are advising motorists not to travel unnecessarily while a number of roads remain closed across the county due to flooding.
There is no indication when the A1 will reopen.”
The worst affected areas were Richmondshire and Hambleton districts.
An investigation is under way after 16 residents aged between 65 and 92 at the Oswin Grove care home, in Gilling West, near Richmond , had to be carried out by firefighters when 3ft of water flooded into the building.
Defences put in place seven years ago after the home was previously flooded appeared to have failed.
Local councillor William Heslop said: “We have to find out what went wrong. We put in flood defences but the water has got past them.
“There was just so much of it, I can’t believe it.”
North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service was so inundated by emergency calls they drafted in reinforcements from Cumbria, Cleveland and Humberside.
Spokesman Peter Hudson said: “At one point we were dealing with 50 emergencies, with 73 calls queued, waiting for fire crews to be assigned to them. We rescued 20 people from cars and vehicles, including one driver in a refuse wagon which was flooded up to the steering wheel.”
Many villages were cut off, including Skeeby, Wensley and Hunton.
Peter Stockdale, who runs the Post Office in Hunton, said the village had been flooded for the second time in five weeks.
“I’ve lived here since 1947 and I have never seen anything like this. It’s just a nightmare for people,” he said.
In Catterick Village, residents were getting around in canoes after a stream burst its banks.
Richmondshire and Hambleton District Councils are distributing sandbags and have set up a flood helpline on 0845-121-1555.
North Yorkshire County Council said 24 schools were closed, mostly because of problems getting pupils to and from schools.
They are urging residents to check the website at north yorks.gov.uk for up-to-date information .
For drainage and highway problems, ring North Yorkshire County Council on 0845- 872-7374.