Clean-up operation begins in Scarborough and Whitby following storm surge and flooding

Gazette & Herald: A woman throws a bucket of flood water out of the Specsavers shop in Whitby after a storm surge caused major flooding down the east coast A woman throws a bucket of flood water out of the Specsavers shop in Whitby after a storm surge caused major flooding down the east coast

A MAJOR clean-up operation started in Scarborough and Whitby yesterday following flooding throughout Thursday night and yesterday morning.

The high tide and storm surge brought water, sand and debris on to roads and footpaths, damaging part of the sea wall in Scarborough’s North Bay near the Sands complex and electricity sub-stations in Whitby town centre - with Whitby Hospital forced to switch to generators, and one patient requiring an emergency transfer to Scarborough.

In Scarborough, waves crashed into sandbags protecting seafront arcades on the resort’s South Bay as floodwaters deluged the West Pier car park and the RNLI Station. A number of arcades and seafront businesses suffered damage.

Emergency crews also dealt with a number of flooded properties in Scarborough and Whitby, but exact numbers are not yet available, and pumps were shipped to the towns from Ryedale District Council.

Coun Hilary Jones, Scarborough Borough Council’s deputy chief executive, said: “We’ve had an exceptionally busy two days, but the multi-agency plans in the Scarborough district appear to have worked very well so far and I cannot praise those involved enough.

“Given the extent of the problems caused by the combination of the storm surge, high tides and weather conditions, it’s been a great round-the-clock effort by all partners, who came together to deal with a very difficult situation and minimise any impact – as well as members of the community who offered to help neighbours in need. There’s been some great community spirit.”

In both Scarborough and Whitby, floodwater was pumped out of cellars, and from a submerged yard between The Station pub and the public toilets in Whitby, giving the fire service access to an electricity sub-station and Yorkshire Water pumping station. Council staff distributed sandbags throughout Thursday, with North Yorkshire County Council assisting with filling new bags to increase the supply available to residents.

Coun Jones said: “It’s been a phenomenal effort from our teams, along with those from partner agencies who’ve also worked tirelessly around the clock.

“The emphasis is now very much on cleaning up and returning our communities to normal as soon as we can.”

More than 100 calls were made to police from residents on the east coast on Thursday night, with officers also having to deal with a fatal collision on the A171, and a man who threatened to jump off Brunswick Pavilion in Scarborough.

The road was closed temporarily while police negotiators talked the man down, and he has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

Train passengers faced lengthy delays as operators, including East Coast, launched revised timetables on Thursday, though most services were running normally by yesterday afternoon.

Inland, staff from Selby District Council spent Thursday night and yesterday morning working alongside emergency services and the Environment Agency distributing sandbags to help protect homes from flooding at Back Lane, Acaster Selby.

A flood warning had been issued for about 20 properties in the village due to the tidal River Ouse rising to about six metres. The flood warning was eventually called off shortly before midday yesterday.

Humberside Police said Friday morning’s high tides passed without causing any significant damage.

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