Free learning resources from arts, cultural and heritage organisations.

The 2015 Leeds Boxing Day Floods

A Christmas to Remember!

In 2015 thousands of people and businesses in Leeds were affected by the worst flooding for over 70 years. Some pictures show people rowing boats down Kirkstall Road!

Photograph showing  a half submerged car in a shoppers car park.  The water has come over the top of the car bonnet.
Kirkstall Road Shops Underwater in 2015

Do you remember it or do you know anyone who was affected?

A flood is the submerging of normally dry land by an overflow of water. Floods can happen in local area or sometimes over a whole geographic area causing a large scale disaster.

Floods happen for lots of different reasons.  The main causes of floods include:

  • Heavy rainfall
  • Heavy snowfall melts quickly
  • Rivers
  • The sea
  • Blocked drains
  • Burst pipes
  • Blocked ditches

Colour photograph showing an aerial view of a town with large sections completely underwater
Aerial View of Urban Flooding

River flooding is the most common type of flood event. If the flow rate of the water is greater than the capacity of the river channel then flooding can happen.

Floods can damage buildings, bridges, underground pipes, roads and other transport links.

As floodwaters decline, land can become polluted with rubbish and untreated sewage. People living in severely flooded areas can be left without power or clean drinking water, which can lead to outbreaks of diseases.

Colour photograph showing a warehouse with goods stacked up on the left hand side.  The floor is covered in thick mud and many boxes and pallets are strewn around
Flood Damage in a Warehouse in Leeds in 2015