North Yorkshire County Council is calling on residents and businesses across the county to help its frontline teams gather important data and information about how people have been affected by the flooding over Christmas.
As water levels recede in most areas and recovery efforts remain in full swing across the county, work is already under way to gather accurate information about the floods.
County Councillor Carl Les, North Yorkshire’s Leader said:
We want to thank all council staff as well as members of the emergencies services, community volunteers, friends, family and neighbours who have worked tirelessly over Christmas to help those affected by flooding and to keep North Yorkshire on the move, clearing and opening roads when safe to do so as quickly as possible.
Now, as we support the county to recover, we need as much accurate information as possible about the impact of floods across North Yorkshire.
County Councillor David Jeffels, North Yorkshire’s Chairman and representative on the Regional Flood and Coastal Committee, has made an urgent plea for those affected by the flooding to make sure that they inform the County Council about flooding to their homes or businesses:
The council estimates the cost of repairing bridges alone damaged by surging waters could run into millions of pounds.
Cllr Jeffels said:
We are very conscious that the impact of flooding in many places might have been much worse but for the dedication and determination of the county council’s frontline teams, of communities and multi-agency emergency teams.
But it is really important that those affected by the flooding get in touch as quickly as possible, so that they can access emergency funding and register for grants being made available by the government for protection against future flooding.
We want to get these funds out as quickly as possible so that residents and businesses can get back to normal as quickly as possible. The more we know about the impact and extent of the flooding, and the things that were done during the event to protect property, the better.
Councillor Jeffels urges those affected by the flooding to access information and guidance on the County Council website www.northyorks.gov.uk/article/25991/Flooding-and-drainage-including-flood-recovery
He is also asking residents, community groups and parish councils to provide as much evidence as possible to the county council of the impact of the flooding:
Cllr Jeffels said:
Photos and videos that show the level and extent of flood water are particularly valuable if people have them. We have a painstaking task ahead of us to assess the impact of flooding accurately.
If photos of the flood itself aren’t available, then reports, diagrams or simple maps are all very helpful in putting together the most comprehensive picture possible of the impact that the flooding has had. We want to hear those stories so that we can learn from them, share them and also to give them the recognition they deserve.
Evidence and accounts can be e-mailed to the team at email@example.com
Central government funds have already been made available to support City of York and North Yorkshire residents and businesses affected by Storm Desmond at the beginning of December and the Government has pledged support for those affected by Storm Eva over Christmas.
Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways said:
As river levels fall, it remains unclear what damage inspections of stanchions and arches on the county’s 1,600 bridges will reveal, but we will be looking to the Government for financial aid.
The County Council’s front line teams, in partnership with other agencies and colleagues from district councils have been working round the clock over the past few days to support residents and businesses affected by flooding and clear roads and make them safe for travel.
Most roads and bridges are now open. Tadcaster bridge which has partially collapsed and the County Bridge in Malton, where river levels remain too high are still closed, and a few roads also remain closed. For updates on road closures go to: www.northyorks.gov.uk/article/31647/Find-out-the-latest-on-roads-that-are-affected-by-flooding
Cllr Mackenzie said:
Tadcaster bridge alone may cost millions to repair.
We do have contingency funds, but do not know whether they are sufficient … we will have to review the situation in the next days.
Diving engineers have conducted a full survey and the County Council is now evaluating all options with regard to Tadcaster Bridge and a decision about the way forward will be taken as soon as possible.
District councils have yet to complete gathering up-to-date figures about properties affected across the county, but numbers run into the hundreds.
Education teams will also be on standby as schools reopen next week, to provide direct advice and support where needed.
In addition the County Council and the NHS are working together to ensure essential health and social care is provided during this period and that hospital beds continue to be available as all agencies have been working hard along with other partners in responding to a high demand due to the flooding.
- The latest grants information and eligibility criteria will be available online at www.emergencynorthyorks.gov.uk in the New Year.
- You can follow @EnvAgencyYNE and #floodaware on Twitter for the latest updates. Or call Floodline on 0345 9881188
Keep up to date with the weather forecast and weather warnings at www.metoffice.gov.uk or tune in to your local BBC radio station.
If you belong to a town or parish council or a community group and are interested in finding out about setting up a flood group to make your community more resilient, email firstname.lastname@example.org