Residents in flood-hit Croston have begun the mammoth task of cleaning up the damage.

The River Yarrow burst its banks in Croston flooding more than 70 homes.

It left the village looking like an island as the three main roads surrounding Croston were flooded.

Residents were evacuated at the height of the flooding.

Jon Lilley, 32, landlord of the Wheatsheaf, Croston, said he had been forced to send his staff home early so they could escape the village before they were cut off.

The landlord, who has only been in the pub for a year and has recently refurbished it, said: “The water just kept coming closer and closer.

“We tried to wedge the doors as best we could, but we lost the battle at about 2am on Saturday and it came through the sandbags.”

The cellar was completely flooded and the water came up around two inches in the pub. He added: “I've lost my beer. My beer is floating.

My plants have floated off down the road."

Today Mr Lilley and his staff were left to try to pump the water out of the cellar and clean up the rest of the pub.

James Gartside, 42, of Town Road, said: "All the water was flowing down the street and it came in through the gates and then just backed up and backed up. And then all of a sudden it just came in through the back. It went up to about six inches inside. This is the first time it's been this bad in about 10 years."

Mr Gartside praised the spirit of the villagers who all mucked in to help each other out, adding: "It was typical British pluck."

Richard Jones, 46, also of Town Road, criticised the response of the Environment Agency and the local council.

He said: "We were expecting flooding throughout the day because of the torrential rain. It seems to me though that the Environment Agency weren't expecting it and certainly the local council weren't expecting it.

"So it was no surprise to us that 11.30pm last night the flood waters entered the house at the rear of the property and flooded the whole of the ground floor to a couple of inches. Pretty desperate business this morning with the village pulling together but a pretty poor service from the people that we would have expected it from."

He added: "Lying in bed trying to get some sleep knowing that your house is actually being invaded is a very odd feeling and clearly when we came down this morning it was a case of not has it been flooded but to what extent."

Mr Jones also praised "the classic Dunkirk" spirit of the villagers.

Michael Roberts, 49, was attending a wake at The Lord Nelson pub when the waters came in.

He said he had been attending his cousin's funeral and on the way back from the church they noticed the water in the river was rising.

He said: "By about two or three hours later the water had really started flooding the street and then by about 11pm the water started getting into the pub and that's when we had to try and start picking up everything and putting things on tables. Seven people got stranded and had to stay over."

Mr Roberts said there were not enough sandbags for people, adding: "It was a disaster. First time for me seeing something like that."

Last night Andrew Edmundsen, the landlord of The Black Horse in Croston, said: "At the moment we are an island. All three roads that lead in are flooded. If you're in you're in, if you're out you're out.

"There's some houses that have been evacuated because they've been flooded.

"The water level is to the top of the bridge.

"Basically we're holding our breath for the high tide at 1am.

"A couple of years ago it was like this but that was in January-February time."

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said the local authority had been handing out sandbags to residents.

An evacuation shelter was set up at the village's Bishop Rawstorne School.

But it is understood most people went to stay with friends and family.