Pensioner rescued as Boxing Day floods hit Ribble Valley for second time this month

A 79-year-old man was among dozens of people rescued from his home in the Ribble Valley after floods devastated the area on Boxing Day.

Fire crews from Clitheroe discovered the pensioner in his home that was under a metre of water when they were called to deal with flooding in Elker Lane, Billington.

Dave McGrath who is watch manager at Clitheroe Fire Station said: "The man was suffering from cold and his oxygen levels were low and he was still downstairs even though the house was flooding.''

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Crews took the man to safety and helped to evacuate 10 other houses before they were called to deal with a vehicle that was stuck in flood waters in the same place.

Water levels had reached to the roof of the vehicle and a member of the Swift Water Rescue Team was diverted from Whalley as it was believed there were passengers trapped inside.

Station Officer McGrath said: "As it turned out the passengers had already managed to escape. It was quite a scary situation as the water as rising by the minute as the river had burst its banks.''

Clitheroe fire crews were out from 7.30am until 4pm and one of the worst hit areas was Pendle Road where the Clitheroe Decorating Centre and Limelight hair salon was flooded out.

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Station Officer McGrath said: "As always happens in these situations people really pull together to help each other. The Mountain Rescue team were called in and they were brilliant. And while me and my crews were in Whalley someone turned up with bacon and sausage butties for us.

"Everyone rallied round to help each other as they always do.''

Station Officer McGrath and his team were among those drafted in to help when floods hit Cumbria recently. He said: "We saw the devastation it caused first hand but never imagined that a month later we would be facing the same situation here.''