Yorkshire faces massive bill after floods

8 Jun 00
Local authorities in northern England are counting the cost of massive clean-up operations following serious flooding last weekend. The bill may come to as much as £15m, according to some estimates.

09 June 2000

Councils in Yorkshire and Durham have been forced to evacuate residents from their waterlogged homes and bring in industrial equipment to clear away mud and debris following torrential rains that fell for more than 30 hours on Friday and Saturday.

Among the worst-hit areas were Todmorden and Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire's Calder Valley, where water rose as high as eight feet after the river burst its banks. Nassar Haq, spokesman for Calderdale Metropolitan Council, said it was too soon to calculate the final repair bill. 'We haven't had time to work out the costs yet because we are too busy clearing up, but we are estimating that the damage will cost up to £10m,' he said.

Wear Valley District Council in County Durham was also badly affected after the swollen River Gaunless caused extensive flood damage around the villages of South Church and West Auckland.

Around 150 council tenants were forced to leave their homes. Director of finance Eddie Scrivens said repairs to these properties alone were expected to cost up to £600,000. 'The situation is changing daily and we've had to bring in lots of extra resources to cope,' he added. 'Being realistic the clear-up is likely to take a few weeks.'

There were no serious casualties caused by the floods, although livestock, including more than 200 sheep, had to be rescued by firefighters. But as local authorities struggled to cope they feared further rain this coming weekend could exacerbate problems.


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