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‘We’ve lost everything’ says flood victims

Natasha and  Robert Locker who have to move out of their flooded Church Street home over christmas


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Natasha and Robert Locker who have to move out of their flooded Church Street home over christmas w134925e

 

Thursday night’s storm surge flooded homes all along Church Street, wrecking many people’s homes in the process.

At its peak, seawater was knee-high inside properties and witnesses even reported water flowing in through downstairs windows.

Natasha Locker was at home at Boulby Bank with her two children when the floodwater started flowing in under her back door.

She helped three-year-old Kallum and two-year-old Keegan to safety and then attempted to stop the ingress of water.

By this point her home was one of 3,000 properties in Whitby that had suffered a black out when two power substations failed.

“It was pitch black and we were trapped for four hours,” she said.

The family had only lived in the property for four weeks and were preparing for Christmas.

Mrs Locker added: “It’s devastating, we’ve lost everything. My house is just gone.”

Mr Locker was allowed to leave his job at Prospect House earlier and ran across Whitby’s New Bridge to reach his family. When he arrived, the sea water was up to his knees and furniture was floating around the property.

“I was so worried and when I got here it was so scary,” he said. “We had the kids on the stairs and they were screaming, they were in hysterics.”

The family have been forced to move all their contents out of the property, many of which have been ruined by the water damage.

They have been temporarily rehoused by Yorkshire Coast Homes, who own the Church Street property.

However, they have also been critical of Scarborough Borough Council after contacting the local authority early on Thursday morning to request sandbags, only to be told they were not entitled to the free bags which could have helped prevent the water entering the property.

Other properties reported similar problems, and on Friday Church Street was lined with carpets and belongings that residents were forced to throw away.

In Whitby town centre, businesses such as Oxfam, Specsavers and The Angel Hotel were extremely hard hit, with some estimates suggesting the clean-up operation may keep some businesses closed until the new year.

At 4pm on Friday staff at Trencher’s fish restaurant continued to remove sea water from the cellar.

Natalie Rideout-Fone is manager of Yorkshire Trading Company and said that when she heard the floods were going to be serious, she stopped the sale of cat litter so it could be used to block the doors. They also sealed gaps in the doorway using tape and staff donned wellington boots from the shop’s storeroom.

She said: “When all the lights went out we were sat on the stars. Everything started cracking and it was just like being on the Titanic.”

However, the next morning store staff insisted on reopening the shop at 9am to allow anyone who needed supplies such as firewood or household goods to purchase them.

With no electricity in the store, customers were led around by a member of staff carrying a torch.

 

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