TORRENTIAL rain brought chaos to Huddersfield today.
Hundreds of motorists were hit as roads disappeared under torrents of water and drain covers burst.
And many householders and businesses were left mopping up as the town was hit by a monster deluge.
Huddersfield's main library in the town centre had to be shut as water poured in through the glass roof, threatening electricity supplies.
Weather experts said 60mm of rain - almost 3in - had fallen in the space of 24 hours.
The average for the whole of August in West Yorkshire is about 58mm.
The Environment Agency said this morning that its Flood Watch came into operation yesterday at about 3pm following heavy rainfall.
Flood Watch is the Agency's first level of alert when weather conditions suggest there may be flooding.
Flood warnings, the second level of alert, are in operation in five areas in the North East region, the nearest to Huddersfield being the River Calder at Mytholmroyd.
Warnings are also in operation in Richmond, Stockton, Bolsover and Sheffield.
An Environment Agency spokeswoman said staff were on standby in the Agency's "flood rooms" monitoring the situation and getting weather updates and regular information from the region's river monitoring systems.
Roads badly hit by the deluge included Meltham Road, Lockwood; Leeds Road, Cooper Bridge; Penistone Road, Fenay Bridge; and Market Street, Milnsbridge.
Many motorists saw their cars splutter to a halt as they drove through flooding.
A bus was stuck in flood water at Wood Lane, Mirfield.
Another major problem for drivers were the drain covers, blown off by the sheer force of the water.
Highways crews were called out across the town, including Almondbury, Milnsbridge, Netherton and Thongsbridge.
In Leeds Road at Cooper Bridge, drivers faced flooding up to 3ft deep beneath the railway bridge.
Long queues built up as drivers were forced to inch their way through the water.
At Lockwood, there was flooding more than a foot deep across Meltham Road.
Surface water affected Mytholm Bridge, near Thongsbridge, New Mill and several manhole covers were lifted by the pressure on the drains in New Mill Road at Brockholes.
The library and art gallery became a victim to the weather when rain got through the roof.
Staff were forced to close the building after shutting off the electrical system as a precautionary measure.
Carpets were soaked and there was some minor damage to books.
A spokeswoman said: "There's a lot of clearing up to do."
It was not immediately known if the building will be able to re-open tomorrow.
Problems with rain getting through the roof have happened before.
A debate has been launched after it was claimed that £5m repairs were needed to the ailing building.
Firefighters have had dozens of calls for help from people facing the misery of flooded homes.
Water has poured into cellars at houses across Huddersfield - but flood victims will only get an emergency response if lives are at risk or the water is in danger of getting into electrical systems.
A fire service spokesman said: "An officer will be sent to assess each situation, but if the flood water can be pumped out by equipment people can hire, then that is what they will have to do.
"In many cases they may have to simply wait for the water level to go down.
"After all, if water is pumped out it where does it go? It will probably seep back in again."
He added that the torrential rain triggered many fire alarms at businesses, which kept fire crews busy all night.
Temporary traffic lights on Market Street in Milnsbridge were knocked over by the force of the water. The road surface is also thought to have been damaged there.
Tarmac on Rowley Lane in Lepton was also lifted up by the force of the water.
Other flooded roads included Weatherhill Road in Birchencliffe, the bottom of Woodhouse Hill in Fartown, Camfield Road in Birkby and Penistone Road at Waterloo.
Water cascaded down playing fields from Holmfirth High School on to Springwood Road, causing hazardous driving conditions for motorists.
A car skidded off Huddersfield Road at Honley on to the pavement near the junction with Station Road.
At Fenay Bridge, householders had to call in help from firefighters as water poured down Spa Terrace and ran through houses.
One resident said: "It was like a torrent as the water gushed down the street. It poured into the kitchen."
At Berry Brow, residents watched as their gardens disappeared under the deluge.
A stream running behind Newsome Road South was blocked and water filled gardens.
Diversions were in operation from about 9am this morning off the A644 Leeds Road after a bus became stuck in a 3ft deep flood.
Mark Dobson, principal engineer, highways maintenance for Kirklees Council, said the incident was causing major problems in the area.
He said highways workers had worked throughout the night supplying sandbags and working to unblock drains where there were threats to property.
He said the highways switchboards had received hundreds of calls yesterday afternoon and this morning and it was trying to prioritise calls to provide help.
Mr Dobson said there was localised flooding throughout Kirklees with major problems caused by the drainage system being unable to cope with the amount of water on the roads.
He warned drivers to take extra care and look out for raised manhole covers caused by the force of water pushing them up.
* A lighting strike may have caused hundreds of homes to lose electricity in Birdsedge yesterday morning.