Flash flooding sparked a "major incident" after a torrent of water forced businesses to close.
Police urged people in Poynton and Disley, Cheshire, to move upstairs as a deluge engulfed a number of roads on Saturday afternoon.
Local officers advised that Middlewood and Staines roads, Park Lane and School Lane have been closed by the flooding.
A spokesman tweeted: "We are currently dealing with flash flooding in Poynton and Disley areas.
"Avoid the area. A number of road closures in place.
"Residents affected by flash flooding in the Poynton and Disley areas are advised to stay indoors and move upstairs. Do not go outside."
Chloe Douglas Riley, a supervisor who works at the Farmers Arms on Park Lane, said the flooding that started around 4pm has forced them to close early.
The 23-year-old there has been heavy rain all afternoon before the rush of water cascaded down the street - seeing the business lose their electricity supply as a result.
She told the Press Association: "It has not come into the building but it was near up to the front door - it was streaming down but it is clearing up a bit now so people can get around a bit more.
"It just sort of happened - the rain was bouncing down and there were puddles and the next minute it is straight up to the door.
"The incident fire unit told us that if the water started to come in, to get everyone upstairs - they said it was nothing like they have seen before."
A voice message left on the telephone number of Poynton's Workmen's Club said: "Due to flooding in Poynton we are closed until further notice."
Cheshire Police said they were dealing with a "major incident", while Cheshire Fire and Rescue service said they began to receive "numerous calls" about the flash flooding in Poynton town centre and nearby homes at around 2pm.
A spokesman said: "Six fire engines have been sent to the scene together with water rescue boats with general flooding up to eight inches deep after a nearby river is understood to have burst its banks.
"Firefighters in wading gear have been touring the area ensuring the safety of vulnerable people unable to get of their properties."