FLASH floods and freak hailstorms have wreaked havoc across the Yorkshire Dales, leaving farmers and businesses counting the cost.

Roads have been swept away as the River Swale burst its banks and livestock has perished in the raging rapids.

Arkengarthdale farmer Doug Barningham is assessing the devastation wreaked on his farm.

The Northern Echo:

The damage on Doug Barningham's Arkengarthdale farm

He said: "We have lost all the crop that we just laid last year.

"As you can see from all the bales lying around they have come away from the heap.

"The river has redirected itself right through the middle of the yard and we have a few sheep that have been marooned on a little island that we are going to have to try and get off.

"Machinery-wise, my son's car is absolutely written off, two trailers, a Topham, a disc mower all submerged and bent."

Mr Barningham's yard is strewn with debris including tonnes of wall stones and the water flooded through his house, lifting up the carpets.

The Northern Echo:

Farmers Doug and Emily Barningham in Arkengarthdale

He added: "The losses of livestock, we saw some coming down the river from the adjecent field last night.

"We don't know how many we have lost, I know they were still going down the river at nine o clock."

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Roads in Leyburn are impassable

Meanwhile, children were left in shock after a freak hailstorm destroyed part of the roof at Brymor Ice Cream, near Masham.

Managing director Paul Hodgson said golf ball-sized hailstones rained down on the play barn and ice cream parlour, destroying a plastic conservatory roof and skylights and leaving holes in other parts of the roof.

Des Coates from Grinton is the gamekeeper for the area and his wife Ann said in 30 years they've never seen anything like it: "Enormous pieces of rock and rubble have been washed down from the moor and have destroyed the road to the cottages beyond our house.

"It's devastating.

"We feel really let down that we've no help from the Army or any organisation.

"Community spirit has been fantastic and everyone is pulling together but we need more help with the big rocks."

Back in Arkengarthdale, Duncan Platt said he "foolishly" went to watch the thunderstorms from the top of the Stang yesterday at around 3pm when the worst of the weather hit.

He ended up stranded and helped rescue a horse that was swept down the rapids.

In Leyburn, the emergency services have been working tirelessly to pump floodwater from the Dales roads but they also had to turn their attention closer to home as their own fire station fell victim to the rising waters.

The Northern Echo:

Flooded Leyburn Fire Station

Rescuers reported seeing sheds and oil tanks floating down roads as "100 or more" homes were affected last night.

Steve Clough, of Swaledale Mountain Rescue, said: "The conditions were so bad that in the end only about ten or 12 team members could make it there.

"The roads were a raging torrent and there were sheds and household oil tanks floating down them."

Mr Clough said his team spent more than eight hours searching properties in the Reeth, Grinton and Leyburn areas, rescuing about 10 people, but he added that North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service helped many more and estimated "100 or more" homes had been affected.

"Some homes had a metre of water in them - it was horrific," he said.

The Northern Echo:

Flooding near Reeth

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said it received around 115 calls to flooding incidents in Leyburn and Reeth on Tuesday evening.

A spokesman said: "We had several appliances, as well as our swift water rescue teams and high volume pumping appliance within the area attending various incidents involving flooded properties and cars stuck in flood water."

Meanwhile, train passengers faced disruption after a landslip between Carlisle and Skipton as Northern Rail suspended trains between Ribblehead and Kirkby Stephen.

And the bridge that has been severely damaged over Cogden Gill, in Grinton Moor, is on the route of the Men's Elite Road Race for prestigious UCI World Championships, coming to Yorkshire in September.

The Northern Echo:

A passerby takes a picture of the collapsed bridge at Codgen Gill Picture: PA

Organiser Yorkshire 2019 CEO Andy Hindley said: "At the current time, our thoughts are with those affected by the flooding.

"We will address any damage to race routes with North Yorkshire County Council in due course."

The Met Office has a Yellow weather warning in place for the whole of the North Yorkshire and North-East region up until midnight today.

It warns of "heavy rain and thunderstorms bringing a chance of flooding and travel disruption".