Whitby town centre is hit by flooding

WHITBY was in chaos on Friday due to heavy flooding.

St Ninian's Church and Birthdays card shop in Baxtergate, as well as the Station Inn in New Quay Road were all hit by severe flash flooding.

Whitby, Lythe and Scarborough crews were out in force tackling the rising water levels and pumping out gallons of flood water.

A fire brigade spokesman told the Whitby Gazette at the time that they feared other shops and properties were also at risk of flooding.

Traffic came to a standstill with cars and delivery vehicles backed up in Baxtergate where two fire engines and lengths of hose reel stretched along the road to pump out the water as heavy rain continued to fall.

Fire crew battled against the elements trying to get on top of the salvage work and gave advice. The pipes at St Ninian’s Church, founded in 1778, are part of a Victorian drainage system which has become blocked by birds, nests and other debris.

The church suffered damage to its parquet flooring and a spokesman for the fire brigade said about 30 metres of it was damaged.

With a big funeral today, a concerned Father Philip French was waiting for Yorkshire Water to send out cleaners to help.

Whitby used an ejector pump to pump out the drain and North Yorkshire County Council Highways Department were called out by the fire brigade.

“Martin on the truck from highways was absolutely fantastic, he went round all three sites assisting us, he was a total star,” said a fire brigade spokesman.

Andrew Waller and Colin Stonehouse run the Station Tavern and their cellar flooded to a level of at least three feet.

And Birthdays’ manager Jan Harrison had nothing but praise for the fire crew who emptied her shop.

The shop was forced to close and lost almost a full day’s trade.

“We managed to get all the stock off the floor, only a few cards got squirted with some water luckily,” she said.

She has managed the shop for 11 years and it is her fifth flood.

Manager of Yorkshire Trading Natalie Rideout-Fone told the Gazette they had emptied out a dozen buckets of water as their roof leaked.

Aimee Laycock, media and campaigns advisor for Yorkshire Water, said: “Any incident of flooding is unpleasant for customers and we sympathise with them.

“Heavy downpours caused problems and the drainage system has not been able to cope with the sheer volume of rainwater entering it via road gullies and highway drains.

“Our priority is to assist with any clean up and we are working together with the council and highways agency following this deluge.

“A team has been at The Station Inn helping to clear up and we will be assessing the problem to determine if there is anything we can do to help alleviate the problems in the long-term.”

A spokesman for the highways department in Whitby said: “We sent our mechanical gully emptier and operative, a sewer was discharging its unpleasant contents.

“We were pleased to be able to help.”

Highways temporarily closed the road at The Carrs between Ruswarp and Sleights while the road near Danby Moors Centre was also closed when the River Esk burst its banks at Duck Bridge.