Thieves have provoked a furious reaction from police after they looted flooded homes while the properties were submerged in dirty water.
The deluged houses were targeted in the early hours of yesterday in York, which was submerged by the River Foss at the time.
One home in the North Yorkshire city was burgled after the back door was forced, while at a second tools were taken from a shed.
On the beat: North Yorkshire Police officers patrol the streets today after cases of looting in York in the aftermath of the floods
Following the floods: People clear up on Huntington Road in York today. There is no suggestion they are connected to looting on the road
It came as a huge clear-up got under way as falling river levels and repairs to industrial water pumps saw many flooded streets drained of filthy water.
North Yorkshire Police Acting Superintendent Mark Grange said: ‘It is extremely disappointing to see victims of the floods being targeted in this way.
‘It is impossible to comprehend why anyone would want to bring further suffering to those who are already in a very vulnerable situation.’
West Yorkshire Police also warned that some flood-hit communities had fallen victim to looters with items left to dry outside properties being stolen.
The force said: 'We are being made aware of persons... removing items which are being left outside properties either for disposal or to dry out.
'In order to ensure the safety of empty properties in the area, additional police resources have been drafted in from other districts and areas.
Debris: A huge clear-up is under way in York as falling river levels and repairs to industrial water pumps saw many flooded streets drained
How it was: Huntington Road in York is pictured two days ago before the clean-up, after the city was submerged by the River Foss
Surveying the scene: Residents clean up the damage caused by flood waters in the village of Elland in West Yorkshire today
‘[And] several motorcycle clubs from the Bradford and surrounding areas have volunteered to patrol the area as extra eyes and ears on the ground.'
The biker gangs are said to be called The Drifters, Pyeratz, Nuntaii Mortis and Broken Bones.
The Cycle Factory of Todmorden, a recently-opened bicycle shop in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, was among the businesses to be targeted by looters.
In a Facebook post, a company spokesman said: 'Struggling for words here we got flooded on Saturday as did a lot of people.
‘Last night we were robbed by the scum of the earth praying on flood victims.' Residents also reported items being stolen from flood victims.
Karen Davies-Ward said on Facebook: 'People been seen/caught by residents in vans [in] Elland, trying to loot things too. Absolutely disgusts me.’
Falling in: Part of the ancient bridge in the centre of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, has collapsed into the River Wharf
Going, going, gone: A crowd gathered in Tadcaster as stone could be heard falling into the water and creaking noises could be heard
Scary: People watching ran as a wave headed towards the bank and a strong smell of gas came from pipes left visible in the gaping hole
And Ana Maria Chiru said: 'Bad times when people take advantage of others' misery for profit.’
Linda Johnson added: 'Good to see [you] looking after the poor people who av (sic) lost everything. Shame on those taking advantage.'
Meanwhile a section of a bridge built around 1700 in the centre of Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, dramatically collapsed into the River Wharf today.
The road was closed due to fears over the bridge’s structural safety but a small crowd gathered tonight as stone could be heard falling into the water.
Creaking noises could also be heard, and just before 5pm a huge chunk of the bridge fell into the swirling torrent.
People watching ran as a wave headed towards the bank and a strong smell of gas came from pipes left visible in the gaping hole.
Emergency services arrived before soldiers were deployed to evacuate people and set up a cordon, saying it was ‘due to fears of a gas explosion’.
Concerns for Tadcaster: Soldiers are evacuating people after setting up a cordon, saying it was 'due to fears of a gas explosion'
Soldiers: Homes either side of the bridge were being evacuated, with residents being taken to a rest centre at Tadcaster grammar school
Clearing the road: The clean up began in Tadcaster earlier with residents, members of the local community and volunteers helping out
An Environment Agency spokesman warned that ‘significant flooding is expected in the Tadcaster area’ and told of a ‘significant risk to life’.
Police said homes either side of the bridge were being evacuated, with residents being taken to a rest centre at Tadcaster grammar school.
And flood-hit homeowners in the North were warned tonight that Storm Frank will bring more devastation with 80mph winds and six inches of rain.
Part of an 18th century Yorkshire bridge collapsed into a river but flood waters which have devastated communities finally began to recede today.
However forecasters say Britain’s sixth named storm is heading straight for the country tonight, and will cause 'significant impact' when it sweeps in.
The Met Office has issued severe amber-graded weather warnings - which advise residents to 'be prepared' for further flooding.
Cumbria, York and parts of Scotland expected to be among the worst hit areas, and western coasts also set to experience severe gales.