A young Whitby family forced out of their house by the floods are looking forward to settling in their new home - but still don’t know how long it will be before they can move in.
Natasha and Rob Locker and their two boys, aged five and three, were forced to flee their three bedroomed flat on Boulby Bank on the night of Thursday December 5 in absolute darkness after being trapped by rising water for four hours.
Ever since then they have been put up in temporary accommodation, have had to move twice again since then as they are holiday cottages and the timescale for the repairs at Boulby Bank being finished has been put back on several occasions.
They have been away from their home and most of their possessions for 14 weeks so far and have been told it could still be another ten weeks before the flat, which they had only moved into four weeks before the floods, is fit to live in again.
With their children becoming more and more unsettled and Natasha having being put on anti-depressants they have decided to accept the offer of a two bedroomed house on the east side of town in a bid to re-build their family life.
However, that house is also undergoing refurbishment so will be at least a couple of weeks before it is available.
Natasha (24) said: “They said we would be the first on the list and it came up but no-one told us. I did ring up and complain and YCH said would we be willing to accept it.
“The main issue is we would be going into a two bedroom house but under the circumstances it is probably what is going to be best.”
Both boys refuse to go into the flat because of the memories from that night and Natasha says contractors who have been working in their flat look like they have ‘ransacked it’.
She added: “They told me on Tuesday they were not touching our stuff until we had moved out to make it easier.
“We went away for a couple of days for our wedding anniversary and I got a phone call to say they had moved a few items which was fine but when we got back on Saturday, it was ransacked.
“Our mattress is on the kitchen floor and I knew where everything was when I left but now I couldn’t tell you where anything is in my house.
“They did day if we didn’t like the new house we could go back to Boulby bank but Keegan refuses to go there and after everything that has gone off and the time limit, it is making us not want to go back there.”
Of the properties that were affected on the Church Street frontage many are still uninhabitable.
Three wereYorkshire Coast Homes properties, including the Lockers. The other two households have been re-housed, but as they were single occupants, it made it easier.
Natasha added: “It has been a nightmare. The kids keep saying are we moving again but I can’t tell them anything because I don’t know.
“We are looking forward to getting the kids settled and concentrating on being a family again and not having to worry about what else is going on.”
A spokesperson for YCH said: “Since the floods we have continued to support the family and work with them to identify a suitable housing solution. Unfortunately, due to the severe housing shortage in Whitby and the nature of the lettings system, finding a suitable property has caused delays. We are pleased we are now in a position to offer them a property.”