The men, who journeyed north from their homes in Manchester, chipped in by shoveling sand into sandbags in a waterlogged car park in Littleborough.
“We saw the pictures on TV and wanted to help,” said Yasser al-Jassem, 35, a teacher who came to Britain in the back of a lorry from Calais in May.
“The people of Greater Manchester have been very good to us and so we wanted to offer our help to them," he told the Guardian.
One of the newspaper's senior editors, Helen Pidd, posted a picture from Rochdale on Tuesday afternoon.
The photo showed eight men clad in high-visibility jackets contributing to the flood rescue effort.
Six are shown loading sand in to bags that will later be sent to home and business-owners to fend off further water damage from the floods currently gripping towns and cities across the North.
Two more men are also shown handling bags already filled.
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The news comes as Environment Agency (EA) officials promised a "complete rethink" of flooding preparedness in light of this Christmas' misery.
David Cameron defended the funding available for defences as he met people in York taking advantage of a brief respite from the weather to start cleaning up.
But gales and downpours are forecast to sweep back in from this evening, with Cumbria and southern and central Scotland most at risk of more disruption.