What we did after our business flooded

Devine Meats, a butcher’s shop located just a stone's throw away from the River Wharfe in Tadcaster has experienced three severe floods since owner Zoe Devine started running the business 12 years ago.

Zoe said: 'We knew we were at risk of flooding, the same as many other businesses on the high street that are so close to the river. We've tried to make ourselves as resilient as possible with flood insurance, flood gates and sandbags, but unfortunately because the damage from flooding is so bad, we can no longer get insured. At worst, we've had to shut the business for 4 weeks and completely start from scratch. It's difficult to recover but the community in Tadcaster is brilliant. I'm a part of the Tadcaster Flood Action Group, and we're here to support each other to make sure everyone is safe when we have a flood risk. It's important to make yourself as flood safe as you can, by moving all electrics up 5 feet, and ensuring surfaces can be washed and cleaned easily. It's essential to have a plan and follow this through when the worst happens.'

David Moss, owner and chef of the Wensleydale Heifer took a run-down pub and turned it into the luxury boutique hotel and restaurant that it is today. Within almost 18 years of running the business, it has been flooded three times due to its location on a hill next to a stream.

David said: ‘When we get heavy rain, the duck pond on the village green gets overwhelmed and, on a few occasions, has caused some damage to the hotel. All 13 rooms were affected, and we were lucky that the main restaurant remained dry, and we could use it as a safe space for guests. We needed to replace all the carpets and let the rooms dry out but we were determined to remain open and offer a great service to our guests.

We’ve now learnt now to maintain the grates over the beck, especially during inclement weather to prevent them from blocking and act fast to limit any damage. Flood insurance can help somewhat but being prepared and pulling together as a team is really important.’