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Call for investigation after floods
HOMES and businesses in Norton were hit by sewage water as drains in the town failed to cope with the amount of surface river.
Although only a couple of houses were flooded, many residents in Church Street, Derwent Terrace, St Nicholas Street and Welham Road were forced to take action to prevent water entering their properties.
Norton mayor Coun Di Keal said: “It was tremendous that the flood defences stood their greatest test so far protecting hundreds of properties, but dreadful that some people were still flooded by the water that built up on the wrong side of the flood walls.
“We now need an urgent investigation into what happened and Yorkshire Water to invest in infrastructure to prevent the appalling surge of sewage that threatened homes.”
She added: “We also need the Government to urgently take action to make sure that flood insurance remains affordable by replacing the current deal with the industry when it runs out in a few months time.”
Coun Keal said she would be holding a meeting with residents in the next few days to put a case to Yorkshire Water urging them to take urgent action and invest in improving the sewer system in Norton to prevent this happening again.
Among the businesses affected were The Cutting Room hair salon in Church Street which has been forced to close until the New Year due to sewage contamination.
Tony Bowman, from Tyke 2000 Ltd, next to the salon, said although there was still access to the petrol station their business had been seriously hit.
“It is very frustrating as we are open as usual – although the road is closed there is still access to us. We have had a lucky escape though with water just inches from the premises.”
Mr Bowman said: “The house next door was flooded and if the water had come up any further it would have been in our shop and destroyed our stock.
“Our thanks goes to the fire brigade and all the other agencies who have worked so hard.”
Problem needs rapid solution
CALLS for an urgent meeting with residents and relevant agencies has been made after the flooding in Old Malton.
At least 54 properties in the town faced a sewage-contaminated lake in Town Street with emergency crews from Malton and Beverley pumping the water out across the raised flood defences back into the River Derwent.
The road reopened on Monday, although crews remained in place throughout the day with crews carrying out a continuous review of the positioning of the pumps.
Malton councillor Martin Dales said that he had now written to the Environment Agency to ask them to convene an urgent meeting with Yorkshire Water, and any other relevant agencies, to review what has gone wrong and to ensure every effort is made to ensure it can’t happen again.
He said: “After the 1999 and 2000 floods, a group was set up by the Environment Agency with the sole intention of responding to what had happened then and finding solutions in the various parts of Malton, Norton and Old Malton and it included myself and other residents from other parts of the towns. A total of £9m was spent on the flood defences that have so effectively kept the River Derwent out of Old Malton.
“The issue here this time was to do with a combination of saturated land, a fast running stream coming through the village from the north and a high water table that set off the springs in the area.”
Coun Dales said he had expressed concern that the issue needed resolving and was under the impression that Yorkshire Water were committed to upgrading the inadequate twin sewage pipes and putting a more effective pump into the village pumping station in Lascelles Lane.
“Nothing has happened and we have had at various times collapsed drains and flooding outside the Royal Oak although nothing of the seriousness of last week’s flood, so far as I am concerned, there is unfinished business for Yorkshire Water here,” he added.
Coun Dales said: “Finally, a huge thank you from the community in Old Malton for all the resources that were thrown at what could have been an even more devastating situation. The efforts of all the people involved from the various agencies was hugely appreciated in what were both anti-social conditions and hours.”
Miles Simmons, of the Wentworth Arms pub, said they had reopened on Sunday morning.
“Luckily the water didn’t get into the bar or restaurant, although we had quite a lot in the cellar,” he added.
“Essentially we got away with it this time thank goodness otherwise it would have been an absolute nightmare for us with all the Christmas bookings we have.”
Villagers meet to express their fears
A SPECIAL meeting of residents was held in Brawby last night to discuss the flooding last week which saw raw sewage being deposited on the roads.
A request has been lodged for the emergency pump that arrived in the village on Friday to remain there because of fears the village will flood again until longer-terms problems over drainage and the village’s sewers have been resolved.
Yorkshire Water has come under fire for what is regarded as its failure to resolve problems going back decades.
Resident Simon Thackray said the village had flooded five times since September but the problems were decades old and not related to the recent floods but had been compounded by them.
“It is an indisputable fact that the main village street floods under normal heavy rain conditions,” said Mr Thackray.
He said: “Yorkshire Water has neglected and refused to address the specific problem in Brawby for years and while there has been a multi-agency response to the recent emergency flooding situation, I am sorry to say there has been a long-term, multi-agency failure to deal with rectifying the problem.
“The emergency pump that cleared Brawby in two hours – when it finally arrived on Friday afternoon – will remain in Brawby indefinitely according to Ryedale District Council.
“The pump must not be taken away, or Brawby will certainly flood again, until Yorkshire Water and Highways have installed a permanent emergency pump and decommissioned the existing waste water treatment works and pumping station and made provision to pipe the untreated waste from Brawby to the underutilised and almost brand new works less than a mile away across the fields at Great Barugh.”
He added that engineers had told him on several occasions how easily the situation could be resolved.