LAST week’s floods have left a legacy of chaos, distruption and misery as the clean-up operation and repairs continue.

In North Yorkshire, 21 roads, many involving bridges, are still closed although engineers have worked round the clock for seven days to reopen 50 of the worst affected routes.

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Some people are still unable to get back into their homes after a month’s rainfall in 24 hours caused rivers, streams and culverts to burst their banks.

In Gilling West, near Richmond, 16 elderly residents aged from 65 to 92, who were rescued from the care home in Oswin Grove, will not be able to return until repairs have been carried out, which could take months.

Some of the roads still badly affected are near Thirsk, with the A61 from the A1 at the bridge through Skipton on Swale still closed.

North Yorkshire County Council brought in a specialist diving team to check the bridge for structural damage but the river is still too high for them to go in.

At nearby Dalton Industrial Estate, the two main roads into the site were closed which meant HGVs were diverted across a farmer’s field.

Tom Harghey, chief executive of steel firm Severfield Rowan, based on the estate, said: “Our 300 workers were marvellous. Everyone pulled together and although one road is still closed we are managing well.”

There are also substantial problems at Linton, near Boroughbridge, where part of the road collapsed when the Ouse burst its banks.

A new temporary bridge has been brought in to relieve the community at Scorton, near Richmond, after part of the main road bridge was swept away.

The sheer volume of water has meant river levels are still high and drivers are being warned not to go through closed roads because it is too dangerous.

County councillor Gareth Dadd, North Yorkshire’s executive member for highways, said: “I have to pay tribute to all the emergency services and to our highways teams who worked endlessly to keep the network moving where it was possible.

“I think this is the worst flooding we have seen for a generation across the county. This has been an incredibly difficult time and I want to thank the public for their patience.

“We are still in the repair process but we are in recovery and we are pulling out all the stops.”