ILKLEY and Otley were badly hit as torrential rain brought flooding chaos to the Wharfe valley.

Otley by-pass had to be shut from 6am yesterday after cars were still trying to plough through the rising waters and were getting stuck.

An elderly couple had to be rescued from the upstairs of their house in Farnley Lane by fire crews who got them onto the back of a trailer attached to a tractor being driven by police.

Ilkley was virtually marooned as the flood waters blocked many roads.

One man who had gone to Denton Bridge to look at the raging river said people had been ignoring road closure signs at Manor Bends and still trying to drive through the flood.

"Some idiots were still trying to get through the water," he said.

"One went through it and then blue lighters had to follow it when it got stuck.

"Water was about to come over the toll bridge. Usually it's about six foot below it. A tree had been brought down and it was bashing up against the side. It was horrendous."