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Fuel thieves cause flood pumps to fail at home of Nikki and Karon Hinds in Castlegate, Malton
THIEVES who stole thousands of litres of diesel put two emergency pumps out of action resulting in a family suffering their sixth flood in four months.
The blow at the weekend devastated butcher Nikki Hinds and his wife, Karon, who had just had their home in Castlegate, Malton, restored by their landlord, the Fitzwilliam Estate.
Nikki, who suffers from Crohn’s Disease, said: “Christmas was ruined for us. The pumping equipment stopped working which caused another flood in our home and we had to call out the fire brigade again.”
Karon added: “The drainage system just can’t cope. We have had two settees covered in sewage – it’s been up to my waist.
“We have been flooded twice in the past month, on top of the floods we suffered in September and November,” said Karon.
A spokesman for Yorkshire Water said: “Unfortunately the theft of diesel from two additional pumps brought in to protect local homes and businesses in Malton meant they stopped working over the weekend, resulting in one home sustaining further flood damage.”
As much as 2,000 litres of diesel is thought to have been taken by the thieves.
Sgt Craig Malia, of Ryedale police, said the police were investigating the theft of the diesel and have asked for anyone with any information to contact them.
He said: “We shall be stepping up our patrols in the Castlegate area because we do not want to see other families suffer from pumping equipment breakdowns caused by the theft of diesel.”
The Yorkshire Water spokesman added: “We would like to apologise to the family and we are also looking into what additional security action we can take.”
He added that both pumps were now operating again. “We will continue to do everything we can to support the multi-agency operation in Malton,” he said.
The Fitzwilliam Estate had carried out remedial work after the couple had said they did not want to move from their home.
Keith Davies, building surveyor at Fitzwilliam Malton Estate, said on Monday: “We are very disappointed that there have been further setbacks at this property following all the hard work that was put in before Christmas to repair the damage caused by the flooding. We are continuing to investigate the situation.”
Ryedale District Council installed a pump over the weekend to help the couple get their home back to habitation again.
Di Keal, Norton mayor and Ryedale District councillor, whose own home was a victim of the recent floods, said: “There is a need for another pumping station in the Castlegate area. While the flood defences have worked effectively, more plant is needed to cope with the problems which some families, such as the Hinds, have suffered.”
She is now taking up the issuewith Yorkshire Water.
The heavy rain of the past week also caused problems for motorists.
Police renewed their plea to drivers to take extra care when driving on flooded roads after two motorists had to be rescued during the Christmas holiday. A woman was rescued by 20 firefighters from brigades at Malton, York and Selby, at Howsham Bridge, when her Ford Fiesta car broke down in deep water. She was said to be “very distressed but unhurt”.
In the second incident, a woman was trapped at Naburn near York. Firefighters from Ripon, Selby, Acomb and York went to her aid but she managed to reach safety herself.
The spokeswoman added: “We have made repeated pleas to motorists to take great care and to heed the proliferation of warning signs which have been put up at flooding blackspots. By not doing so they are putting their own safety at risk.”