Wainfleet

Wainfleet aftermath: Victims clean up flooded homes

Wainfleet flood victims, who are busy clearing out their homes, have demanded that the local river should be protected to prevent further damage.

More than 500 homes were evacuated after heavy rain caused the River Steeping to burst its banks on June 12.

The whole town now seems eerily quiet on the surface, but residents are busy working away to rip out ruined flooring, walls and furniture.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Many of the streets are now dry with only piles of sandbags and skips full of rubbish outside homes as evidence of the recent disaster.

“It has absolutely devastated my entire family,” Ashley Dolman told Lincolnshire Reporter inside his empty home.

Ashley’s home was flooded. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Ashley is a builder by trade and knows that there is complex work ahead over the next six to eight months before his family can move back in.

He takes a reporter for a tour around his home and points out the sodden concrete base of his home as his next big job.

Sodden concrete base. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

As we talk a dehumidifier is whirring away and is taking three buckets of water out of Ashley’s home everyday.

The 29-year-old continued: “We just want these officials to tell us that this will never happen again. I went to a meeting recently where they were talking about what had happened, but what use is that now?

Full skips of ruined furniture. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

People made desperate attempts to save their homes. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The flood water climbed higher and higher.

They were told to find a new home for the next six to eight months.

“All we want to hear is how they will prevent the River Steeping from bursting its banks in the future. I don’t want to sit around so I’m happy to help my landlord out to fix the home and get my family back here.

“We had no help from the authorities. If it wasn’t for our friend who got us some sandbags from a building site, it could have been much worse.

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

It’s not only Ashley who is battling to get his life back on track. Just around the corner one family face cleaning up a large pile of sewage which had been left in their garden.

Around the town the only signs of life in many parts are the few cats which can be seen wandering around or waiting outside houses for their owner to come back home.

Residents can find officials in Coronation Hall. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Food for victims. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Emergency repair kits. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Environment Agency has carried out temporary repairs to the River Steeping bank and are now designing a more permanent solution.

Meanwhile the Freemasons in Lincolnshire have donated £75,000 to help Wainfleet residents get back on their feet.

Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West, chairman of the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum, said: “The emergency services, our partners and volunteers have been working around the clock to get people back in their homes and I’m happy to announce it is now safe to return.

“We appreciate that this has been emotional and distressing time for local residents and our organisations will be providing ongoing support as things gets back to normal.”