Yorkshire floods 2001

The following report comes from IRC member Alan Turner.

Tuesday 31st October

I got a call from the admin office at about 1500 hrs, saying that we were going to be heading to the Stamford Bridge area to assist with flood rescue. A second call informed me that the team was going to be heading off ASAP, so I grabbed my kit and sped off to meet up with the others at the office in Grangemouth.
With the Scottish Group boat and equipment loaded, we headed off to Leeds.
On arrival at Rothwell sports arena, where we had arranged to meet local members, we were informed that they were expecting to have to evacuate around 700 people from the nearby Shipley area and our help may be required with this task.
The expected flooding did not occur and as we were not required at this time, we were stood down around 0600 hrs the next day.

 

 

Wednesday 1st November

We made contact with the Emergency Services to see what our next task would be and we were asked to attend at Stamford Bridge and relieve the Police diving team for the night. When we arrived there we could see that it was a lot worse than the flooding last year. We were informed that some of the local people still staying in their flooded properties and were happy to stay unless the situation got worse!!

After an uneventful night, the Police Dive team relieved us in the morning. At this point, we headed off to make our way to Naburn and Fordlands Road (Fulston) areas of York. These areas were cut off by flooded roads, especially Naburn where the IRC boat was the only means of transport in or out for people or food supplies.

Three members were running the Naburn side, while two others took up the Fordlands Road side. In the evening we went to relieve the police dive team again. We transported the nightshift workers for the local nursing home and factory across the floods, and do a drive by check of local properties to see if there was any problem or residents that required help. With this completed, the team had a quiet night.

Thursday 2nd November

When the police relieved the team at 11:00, we made our way to Selby and a local motel that was made available so the team could get a meal and a bed for the night.
We went back for the evening shift at Stamford Bridge. When we were doing our patrol of the streets, we were invited into The Swordsman public house to see the damage; the water was almost level with the bar and we could hear a clicking noise from behind the bar area that made us think that something was shorting out.
We called the barman over and that when found out the noise was being caused by the automatic dispensers putting out half pint measures of beer direct into the flood water! After this emergency was averted, we checked the main street, just letting the current take us from one end to the other without having to use any means of propulsion – it was another (relatively) quiet night.

Friday 3rd November

The next day we were on standby in Selby and were asked to go to Elvington to assist the local doctor, by delivering medicine to some patients that were unable to make their way to the surgery due to the flooding. When this task was completed we returned to Selby until we were required again. This time we were off back to Naburn to man the boat, to ferry the locals out so they could get their supplies, and also take the children back home from school.
It was the same thing the next day, before we headed back to Selby where the dam was threatening to go. Fortunately, this event did not happen.
The rest of the week was spent swapping duties with IRC teams at Stamford Bridge, Naburn and Selby.
All in all, in the 11 days the teams worked hard and were appreciated by the villagers and the local police.

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