Recovery work underway in flood-hit community

This story was published 10 March 2020

Work is underway to help the residents of Hirst Courtney recover following the recent flooding that has severely affected the community.

Removal of sandbags underway on Tuesday

Following Environment Agency advice that river levels have dropped and recent rainfall has not affected the River Aire, North Yorkshire County Council’s highways team today (Tuesday 10 March) moved in to begin the removal of flood defences from the road through the village.

County Councillor Don Mackenzie, Executive Member for Access, said: “Our first priority is to remove the sandbags and other flood defence material. We will then be able to carry out a full inspection of the highway and assess any repairs that are needed.

“The clear-up operation is likely to take several days, but we understand residents’ desire for the recovery to happen as quickly as possible. We will reopen the road as soon as it is safe to do so.”

If residents wish to keep their flooding defence materials, they must move these onto their properties immediately to enable the removal to progress swiftly.

Through the North Yorkshire Local Resilience Forum, the joint response to the flooding has involved numerous agencies, including the Environment Agency, Selby District Council, the County Council, North Yorkshire Police and North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

The Chief Executive of Selby District Council, Janet Waggott, said: “As water levels rose, the joint efforts protected many properties across the district, but we do understand how distressing it is for anyone whose home or business has been flooded. We are now doing all we can to help people to recover as quickly as possible.”

During the last week the District Council has provided a steady supply of skips to support the clean-up and over the weekend members of volunteer organisation Team Rubicon were on site to help residents clear homes and gardens.

Janet added: “We thank the community for continuing to work with us during this difficult time. The clear-up is progressing well and we saw a concerted community effort at the weekend.”

Financial help is available for residents affected by the flooding. Grants and rates relief are available for both householders and businesses. Details can be found on the Selby District Council website.

“There has been a good uptake of the financial support that is available,” said Janet, “and we are now processing the applications for grants and rates relief.”