WIND and showers are set to continue across East Lancashire this week.

After the flooding in the county last week, the Met Office has withdrawn the severe weather warnings for the time being.

But forecasters say there is a moderate risk of 20-30mm of rain and gusts of up to 60 mph over the next few days over hills.

And areas around the River Irwell could be at risk of flooding, the Environment Agency has warned.

From Tuesday, milder but unsettled weather is expected with sunny spells and occasional showers.

Last week, two inches of rain in 24 hours was all it took to bring chaos to East Lancashire.

The area's roads were left gridlocked by waterlogged main routes.

Flood warnings were in place at the Rivers Darwen, Blakewater, Ribble and Irwell.

Sandbags were distributed to residents near the Irwell after part of the river burst its banks.

A landslide struck a Rossendale company, while a school bus got stuck in a foot of water on a bridge in Sawley.

Badly waterlogged roads included main routes, the A59 from Langho to Gisburn, Roman Road, Preston Old Road, Burnley Road and Lottice Lane, Blackburn, Whalley New Road, Langho, Padiham Road, Burnley, Salterforth, Earby and Halifax Road, Todmorden.

The chaos left motorists stuck in early morning rush-hour jams.

Police set up control points to ease the flow of traffic along the A59, while firefighters attended 13 roads across the county to help clear the Highways.

However, Roman Road, Blackburn, and Lottice Lane at the junction of the Britannia Crossroads with Haslingden Old Road, in Oswaldtwistle, had to be closed for drivers’ own safety.

At its height at 8.30am, firefighters were forced to evacuate a single decker bus carrying pupils from Bowland High School and Clitheroe Grammar after it got stuck on a bridge on the A59 at Sawley.

Police said the vehicle became flooded with water itself, cutting the engine off.

They were taken to the nearby Spread Eagle Hotel where they were attended by paramedics.

Cieran Kelly, assistant manager at the hotel, said: “They were all in a bit of shock but they were seen to by ambulance crews and we gave them all some hot drinks and food.

“The bus had been stranded on a nearby bridge and we decided to bring them all in here until arrangements could be made to get them to school.”

Stephen Cox, headteacher at Bowland High School commended his pupils for remaining calm.

He said: “The bus got stuck on a bridge because of all the flooding.

"Some of the younger pupils were getting quite anxious that they might be swept away.

“But the older ones took control and I want to say thank you to all of them, in particular prefect Zoe Clayton, who managed to keep the younger ones calm and liaised with school the whole time.

”The pupils were taken to the hotel and then another bus was sent to collect them and they are all fine.”

Dave Leaver awoke to find water gushing in through the garage of his home in Roman Road, Blackburn.

He described how water rushed in ‘like a tidal wave’ every time a car drove past his house.

Mr Leaver said: “When I woke up this morning a torrent of water was coming in through the garage as all the drains were blocked in the road.

“The water then started to rush into the cellar. It was just a deluge of water every time a car drove past.”

Firefighters remained at the house until the early afternoon using pumps to clear the build up of water.

In Barnoldswick, the town’s main football pitch and cricket field were flooded together with neighbouring parkland.

Coun David Whipp spotted a bench in the water which was causing a build-up of water in Victory Park.

He said: “Water was flowing from an unusual direction following the heavy overnight rain.

"I followed the water back to where the stream at West Close is piped under a path.

"The water was topping out upstream of the pipes.

“I poked about in the churning water and managed to dredge a plastic garden bench out from the entrance to the pipes.

"As soon as I got the bench out the water level started to drop.”

Land collapsed and fell into the back of a factory in Rossendale.

Workers at Kippax Mill in Crawshawbooth, were immediately evacuated following the landslide at around 9am.

The hills behind the paper and cardboard manufacturers, in Goodshawfold Road, collapsed under the weight of the rain water.

A spokesman for Lancashire Police said: “It appears as though the hill has come through the building and taken trees in with it.

“We were called to check the electrics in the building and police were working to make the area safe.”

In Burnley, there was severe flooding in Padiham Road and there was also a risk of flooding for low lying homes in Chatterton, Irwell Vale and Strongstry, all Rossendale.

Staff from Rossendale Borough Council were visiting properties throughout the village to help residents protect their homes with the sandbags.

The Environment Agency issued a severe flooding warning for the River Irwell in Rossendale after it burst its banks into Nuttall Park, Ramsbottom.

Inspector Phil Cottam from the Motorway Unit said there had been a number of minor crashes.

He said: "The bad weather eased off towards the afternoon but the roads were being closely monitored due to spray and some minor collisions.

“The adverse weather and the downpours make driving conditions very difficult and we would urge people to take extra care.”

Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service said it had seen an increase in calls, and had been out on 13 weather-related incidents.

But fire chiefs are urging people not to dial 999.

A spokesman said: “Most calls in respect of flooding are not true emergencies in the sense of endangering life or with a significant risk of property damage, whereas such calls can potentially jeopardise the service’s ability to deal with fires and rescues as a top priority.

“Flooding can produce genuine emergencies of course, which Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service is ready and eager to respond to.

“Nevertheless, its firefighters have on occasion been asked to deal with situations caused by floods or high winds which are more appropriate for the services of a plumber or a builder.”

Click on the links below for a five-day weather forecast, live traffic updates and our East Lancashire flooding photo gallery.