FLOODING LATEST: Worst is over

134933d'The high tide recedes leaving huge lumps of rock and concrete on the carriageway and deckchair huts thrown all over'Picture by Neil Silk
134933d'The high tide recedes leaving huge lumps of rock and concrete on the carriageway and deckchair huts thrown all over'Picture by Neil Silk

The borough has seen the worst of the flood as the clean up for Thursday’s devastation continues.

Although this evening’s tide will once again be high, the Environment Agency has said it is not expecting any significant wave overtopping in this borough.

Agencies are continuing to share pumping resources to help people in affected properties, with two pumps also sent across from Ryedale District Council.

Following this morning’s high tide, clean-up crews from Scarborough Borough Council, backed up by refuse workers diverted from bin collection rounds and North Yorkshire County Council staff, have been on the ground across the borough and working hard to clear roads and pavements of debris.

Scarborough Borough Council deputy chief executive, Hilary Jones, said: “We’ve had an exceptionally busy two days, but the multi-agency plans in the Scarborough district appear to have worked very well so far and I cannot praise those involved enough – given the extent of the problems caused by the combination of the storm surge, high tides and weather conditions, it’s been a great round-the-clock effort by all partners, who came together to deal with a very difficult situation and minimise any impact – as well as members of the community who offered to help neighbours in need. There’s been some great community spirit.

“Our staff were mobilised early yesterday morning to deploy the council’s stock of sandbags, based on the information we had from the Environment Agency about properties at risk, while other staff from the borough council and North Yorkshire County Council started the process of filling additional bags to ensure we maintained a good supply for residents in need. It’s been a phenomenal effort from our teams, along with those from partner agencies who’ve also worked tirelessly around the clock.

“In Scarborough and Whitby agencies have also shared resources to pump floodwater from cellars as well as a submerged yard between The Station pub and the public toilets in Whitby – crucial to assist the fire service in accessing an electricity sub-station and Yorkshire Water pumping station.

“The emphasis is now very much on cleaning up and returning our communities to normal as soon as we can. We have made the positive move to a recovery phase. Council staff are fully mobilised to help with the clean-up. Bulky items that need removing as a result of the flooding will be removed without charge. Refuse wagons are stationed in the worst affected areas for residents to use.

“Customer Services in Scarborough and at Whitby TIC will be open 8:30am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday and we have staff out in the norough providing advice in relation to health and clean-up matters and we are distributing guidance leaflets to those affected.

“Environmental Health Officers are visiting food premises affected by flooding to give advice while housing staff are on hand to assist with any issues. We’ve also visited premises affected by the power outage in Whitby to make sure they’re OK.

“Our engineers are currently out and about checking for structural damage to infrastructure.

“We’d like the public to be aware of the work we still have to do – we would ask people not to access those areas during the clean-up and recovery process. It will help us ensure we can get our communities back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Police and Fire and Rescue teams in the Whitby and Scarborough area have been on hand around the clock to help people who have been directly affected by the flooding, as well as to provide support and reassurance to the wider community during this very worrying time.

During Thursday evening and into the early hours of today, more than a 100 calls were made to the police control room from people on the east coast, with about half of those relating to the flooding incident itself.

Officers also had to deal with a fatal road traffic collision involving a pedestrian on the A171 near Fylingdales Service Station at 5.40pm on Thursday.

At around the same time in Scarborough, officers were called to deal with a man who was threatening to jump off Brunswick Pavilion. The road was closed temporarily while trained police negotiators talked him down from the ledge and he was detained under the Mental Health Act for assessment.

The flooding also caused an electrical sub-station to fail resulting in no electricity to the vast majority of Whitby. Whitby Hospital’s generators had to take over electric supply and one male patient needed emergency transfer from Whitby to Scarborough at same time as the fatal pedestrian collision was ongoing.

To meet the emergency demand, officers on the ground remained on duty. Off-duty staff were also contacted at their home and requested to attend Whitby Police station at 4am on Friday to begin working along side search and rescue teams to assist with the protection of property in Whitby town centre.

Superintendent Glyn Payne, the Scarborough and Ryedale Safer Neighbourhood Commander, is co-ordinating the local multi-agency emergency response.

He said: “It has been - and continues to be - a tremendous effort by all the agencies involved in dealing with this significant incident along the coast of North Yorkshire. I pass on our gratitude to all of the team members who have strived to keep people safe from harm and to minimise the extent of damage and destruction caused by the tidal surge.

“I also praise residents and business owners for their help and co-operation throughout. Once again, they have demonstrated true community spirit under very difficult circumstances.

“Residents can be assured that all the agencies involved are doing everything in our power to assist a return to normality as the recovery phase of the operation gets underway in earnest.”

On Thursday, the Environment Agency issued two severe flood warnings covering Whitby, along with seven flood warnings and two flood alerts. In total, 561 households along the borough’s coastline received Floodline warnings from the Agency, via telephone, pager, text or email.

The Agency also mobilised six water pumps – four to Whitby and two to Scarborough – to add to resources from the fire service, borough council and county council.

The pumping operation started on Thursday evening as soon as the water had peaked, using appliances from the fire and rescue service and Yorkshire Water, as well as council pumps, with county council staff undertaking a lot of the pumping work.

Rest centres in Scarborough and Whitby were also established and while the Falsgrave Community Resource Centre in Scarborough closed on Thursday evening, Whitby’s centre, based at the community college, remained open throughout the night and assisted in the temporary housing of nine residents, who were affected by the power outages. It has now been stood down.

Meanwhile, North Marine Road and Foreshore Road in Scarborough remain closed as highways officers undertake assessment of carriageways to check for any damage. There are reports of potential damage to the highway on the A174 at Sandsend but following an inspection by Highways service is deemed safe to remain open.

The clean-up operation is now well under way, with the aim to get roads open and support businesses in opening up as soon as possible.