Woman’s tears as floods inundate her spa in submerged Yorkshire town

A woman whose home and business have been destroyed by floods in South Yorkshire has revealed that she has lost everything because her insurance does not cover flooding.Pam Webb, owner of Truffle Lodge luxury spa in Fishlake, near Doncaster, broke down in tears as she spoke about how she discovered on Monday morning that her…

A woman whose home and business have been destroyed by floods in South Yorkshire has revealed that she has lost everything because her insurance does not cover flooding.

Pam Webb, owner of Truffle Lodge luxury spa in Fishlake, near Doncaster, broke down in tears as she spoke about how she discovered on Monday morning that her insurance provider had excluded flooding from her policy – with the recent floods the first to have hit the village in 100 years.

Ms Webb said she wanted answers about what caused the flooding that resulted in around 350 residents leaving their homes after they were submerged in water.

Aerial photographs today show the devastation caused by the floods in the Yorkshire village, as cars were swept away and homes were left knee deep in filthy water.

The now cut-off village of Fishlake is submerged underwater after the River Don burst its banks following torrential downpours. 

Around half of the 700 residents have left their homes, and those that have stayed behind have been helping each other, with the local cafe and pub supplying food to those trapped inside their properties. 

Many said by the time flood warnings had been issued and sandbags handed out, it was already too late to save their properties, and they said they have been left with ‘no support’ on the ground from the local council.

The Prime Minister will chair an emergency Cobra meeting on Tuesday to discuss the response to the recent flooding, Downing Street said.

Downing Street’s announcement of the meeting, which will take place on Tuesday, came after Jeremy Corbyn sent a letter to Boris Johnson calling on him to hold a Cobra meeting and ‘take personal charge’ of the Government’s response.

The Labour leader said he disagreed with the Prime Minister’s assessment at the weekend that the flooding was ‘not looking like something we need to escalate to the level of a national emergency’.

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Resident Pam Webb outside Truffle Lodge, in tears outside her flooded home in Fishlake, Doncaster. She says she has lost everything that she has worked for

Ms Webb sobbed as she said she did not expect to find out she was not covered for the damage. She said: ‘My insurance company have excluded flood from my policy’

Ms Webb said she wanted to know if flood defences put in place to protect larger towns and cities, such as Sheffield, had resulted in flooding further along the River Don

Ms Webb said she wanted answers about what caused the flooding that resulted in around 350 residents leaving their homes after they were inundated by water

Fishlake, near Doncaster, was cut off by its worst flooding in living memory when the River Don burst its banks. Pictured: The village of Fishlake this morning

In Fishlake pictured today which remains accessible only by boat or tractor, residents were clubbing together to provide hot food and drinking water for families

Mr Corbyn said that if the flooding had occurred in Surrey, rather than Yorkshire or the East Midlands, it would be ‘far more likely’ that a national emergency would have been declared. 

Speaking about the impact of the floods, a devastated Ms Webb said: ‘When the flood came in as fast as it did on Friday, I remained at Truffle Lodge until 11 o’clock on Saturday morning, lost power and realised it was sensible that I had to leave.

‘It is under water, totally can’t operate at the moment and I don’t know for how long.’

Ms Webb sobbed as she said she did not expect to find out she was not covered for the damage.

She said: ‘My insurance company have excluded flood from my policy.

‘I feel really selfish in saying this and I hope that other people aren’t in this boat but I’ve lost my home and my business and my livelihood that I’ve worked so hard for.

‘And the girls who worked for me, or worked with me, it’s their livelihoods as well. And a lot of them are only young. Some of them have got young families and I’ve tried to look after them the best I can.’

Ms Webb said she wanted to know if flood defences put in place to protect larger towns and cities, such as Sheffield, had resulted in flooding further along the River Don.

She said: ‘Fishlake has never flooded in 100 years so my, if you want to say, anger is… why has it now flooded? You know, it’s happened so we need to now establish why and how and who should be accountable.

Aerial view of the village of Fishlake, Doncaster, which is still cut off and without power today

‘Is it the flood defences that weren’t sufficient to hold it? Did something give at some other point?

‘I’m not taking anything away from Sheffield, that’s great work was done there, but has it exacerbated the problem down here and we’ve now got a bigger problem here because of what happened there?’

Ms Webb said that, since the flooding, she had used her ‘energies and resources’ to appeal for staff from Doncaster Council and the Environment Agency to visit the village and begin pumping out the floodwater. 

She added: ‘It is absolutely devastating and heartbreaking.

‘It’s my family home and business. I established it four years ago and built it up to what it is now and it’s gone overnight.

‘It is completely devastated. It is going to be 12-18 months at least to get back on my feet and I don’t think I could sustain that.

‘The fire crews that have been here from all over the country have been absolutely brilliant, but they have been left in the dark.

The three day weather forecast for the UK this week shows that rain is expected for the next few days 

Homes and gardens have been devastated by flooding in the village

Aerial images taken this morning show the village submerged with gardens and fields vanishing under flood water

‘They didn’t know where the dykes were in this area, they didn’t have any local knowledge whatsoever. They were totally left in the dark.

‘Some of the fire crews who were rescuing people should have finished at 7am yesterday and they were still here at 11pm.

‘Devastating is an easy word to use but it’s completely devastating and it’s heart breaking.’ 

Photographs emerging today show the inside of homes completely submerged in the filthy river water, and cars left abandoned on the side of the road.

Overnight efforts to shore up flood defences continued as an RAF Chinook ferried bags of aggregate on to flood banks in the Bentley area of Doncaster. 

The air crew from RAF Odiham in Hook, Hampshire, has been working 200 miles away from base and moved 40 tonnes of aggregate in 10 shuttles overnight to strengthen the banks of the River Don.

But with forecasters warning of another 48 hours of heavy rain in the North of England, there are growing fears that several other communities could be devastated too. 

The military intervention came at the request of the Environment Agency, which said on Twitter: ‘We’ve asked for military support to move aggregate to the Bentley area.

‘This doesn’t represent a further risk. The aggregate is being used to add further strength to a flood defence in the area.’

A trailer transports residents through floodwater in Fishlake, Doncaster as parts of England endured a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours

A car is almost completely submerged in the flood water after it was washed away in the village of Fishlake

A car floating in the water on the outskirts of Fishlake, Doncaster as parts of England endured a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours

Residents of Fishlake are being transported through floodwater

Simon Blenkin’s home is completely flooded with up to a foot of water in place

Floating coffins in a funeral parlour in Fishlake, Doncaster, which is still cut off and without power

A Fishlake resident wades through flood water in one of the roads in Fishlake today

Homeowner Andrew Benford’s bungalow, which he has lived in since 1965 is completely flooded

With forecasters warning of more heavy rain in the North of England today and tomorrow, there are growing fears that several other communities could be devastated too. Pictured: The village of Fishlake this morning

A resident wades through knee high water in the village of Fishlake this morning, which is still inaccessible by road

The air drops in the Doncaster area came as the Met Office issued fresh weather warnings for heavy rain in South Yorkshire and as people who stayed in a flooded village cut off by river water were urged to leave by the council. 

And with the weather turning colder, snow could also fall on higher ground in the north of England and up to 10cm in parts of Scotland.  

Homeowner Andrew Benford, who lives in Fishlake, has described his ‘heartbreak’ at seeing the family home he still shares with his mother submerged under 4ft of water.

Debris and sewage-filled water has devastated the bungalow Andrew has lived at since 1965.

The 55-year-old, who has lived at his bungalow since he was 18 months old, said he feels ‘abandoned’ by the authorities.

This car is completely submerged in the floods after it was abandoned on the side of the road

Emergency teams work to drag this digger from the floods as the region braces for yet more rain over the next 48 hours

A picture shows flood-water at homes in the village of Fishlake near Doncaster, northern England, today

This photograph shows the height some of the flood water has reached in the village of Fishlake

Simon Blenkin whose home is completely flooded. The village of Fishlake, Doncaster, which is still cut off and without power

Simon Blenkin whose home is completely flooded, carries some of his belongings out of his house

A local farmer is trying to arrange temporary accommodation for Andrew, while his elderly mum is staying with a friend.

Andrew said: ‘I’m devastated. I have lost everything. The council have abandoned us. They could have done more to prevent this.’   

Builder Mark Sengelow, 47, woke up on Saturday morning to find his house filled with 2ft of water. He said: ‘It stinks. There’s debris and sewage in it. It was heartbreaking to see the house ruined.’

Defiant Josh Knaggs, 29, is one of many residents who has decided to stay put in the village amid fears of potential looting.

His wife and two children have gone to stay at his mother-in-law’s, but he has decided to stay at the Hare and Hounds pub in Fishlake village so he can keep an eye on his empty bungalow. 

Emergency workers wade through the filthy floodwater in Fishlake this morning as rescue efforts continue

Homeowners cling on to the side of a tractor in Fishlake as they make their way through the floodwater

Residents of Fishlake were taken to safety on the back of a tractor this morning

A small van makes its way through the streets of Fishlake, which is submerged in water

Police help residents take home supplies in the recently flooded area of Bentley, north of Doncaster

Residents distribute food and drink to neighbours in the recently flooded area of Bentley, north of Doncaster

Homes in Fishlake were deluged by up to two foot of water in places that submerged cars and left properties severely damaged 

Josh said he felt many people did not want to leave their properties unattended and has gone back to his home twice to make sure it was secure.

He said: ‘People don’t want to leave their possessions. My bungalow is under at least 4ft of water, everything is gone.

‘I’ve been back to the house a couple of times and it is up to the kitchen unit.

‘It’s a prime target for thieves. People aren’t in their houses and they know people aren’t in their houses.

‘We’ve already lost everything and people are worried about valuable and sentimental items being stolen while they are away.

‘The police have sent more officers to the village, there were about 20 here last night, but they are on the outskirts, not on the streets where the houses are empty.’ 

Children in the village of Fishlake, Doncaster, which is still cut off and without power. It is the first time the village has flooded in 100 years

Floods have caused devastation in the small village, with properties completely surrounded by filthy water

People are taken through the floodwater on a dinghy in Fishlake, Doncaster as parts of England endured a month’s worth of rain in 24 hours, with scores of people rescued or forced to evacuate their homes

Residents in Fishlake carry their belongings from their homes as they are taken to safety by members of the Fire and Rescue service

A car makes its way slowly through the flooded roads of Fishlake, Doncaster

A public footpath sign is seen beside a flooded farm on the road to Fishlake this afternoon, with forecasters predicting yet more rain over the next 48 hours

Doncaster Council has said people refusing to leave the village will not be helped, but Josh said people in the village intend to stay put.

He added: ‘A lot of people are elderly, some of them are in their 80s or 90s and they’re scared of going downstairs through the freezing cold water to get to the boats.

‘There’s an elderly man in the village who is receiving end of life care. They can’t get him out of the house.’

Residents in Fishlake have been  clubbing together to provide hot food and drinking water for families who had been unwilling to leave their homes and farmers caring for livestock.

An RAF Chinook carries out one of ten runs over night dropping 40 tonnes of aggregate on the banks of the Rover Don to protect communities in Doncaster from more flooding 

The Environment Agency called in military support after an area of housing was inundated by floodwater on Friday 

Louise Holling, who owns The Old Butchers cafe, said: ‘We’re giving out coffee and bacon sandwiches to everyone who wants them, but we’ve had no support at all from Doncaster Council. 

‘My house is one of the few which wasn’t flooded. We’ve had 15 people staying. We can’t understand why the floods were so bad. There are people who have lived in the village for 90 years and they’ve never seen anything like it.’ 

Linda Bushell said she received a flood alert text message from the Environment Agency only after the water was in her house. 

Mother-of-five Amy Grant, 27, said: ‘We’ve had donations from Sainsbury’s and McDonald’s but absolutely nothing from Doncaster Council. It’s terrible.’ 

A few miles upstream from Fishlake, in Bentley, specialist engineers from 170 Engineering Group were called in yesterday to offer advice, confirmed the Army.

In the nearby market town of Stainforth, residents were providing supplies and support to families who had abandoned their homes.  

Teams of engineers were helping load the helicopter and move the sand, gravel and crushed stone as floods hit the north of England

The RAF in Chinook in Doncaster moving tonnes of aggregate to cut off a spit of land to shore up flood defences and improve drainage

A map showing the location of severe flood warnings (in red) flood warnings (red and black) and flood alerts (orange) where flooding is possible

Fishlake (pictured coffins floating inside a flooded funeral home), near Doncaster, was cut off by its worst flooding in living memory when the River Don burst its banks

Many said by the time flood warnings had been issued and sandbags handed out, it was already too late to save their properties from the flood (pictured)

In Fishlake, which yesterday remained accessible only by boat or tractor, residents were clubbing together to provide hot food and drinking water for families who had been unwilling to leave their homes and farmers caring for livestock. Pictured: Mark Sengelon’s flood hit home in Fishlake, South Yorkshire

Doncaster Council insisted its staff had been working around the clock to help people affected by flooding, while an RAF Chinook helicopter had been drafted in to shore up flood defences.

Chief executive Damian Allen said: ‘The council is unable to offer on-the-ground support to residents who are in severe flood warning areas, based on advice from the Environment Agency.

‘We have set up a dedicated rest centre for all Fishlake residents in neighbouring Stainforth, where council officers are on hand to offer dedicated support, advice and guidance.’

Mr Allen said a rest centre had been set up in nearby Stainforth, and the latest advice is that the Environment Agency does not expect flood waters in Fishlake to start to go down for at least the next 24 hours.

The council’s statement came after villagers complained about a lack of support from the local authority.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was ‘in awe of the community’s spirit and resilience’ following the flooding that has hit South Yorkshire and the Midlands. 

A few miles upstream from Fishlake, in Bentley, specialist engineers from 170 Engineering Group (pictured yesterday) were called in yesterday to offer advice, confirmed the Army

In a statement, he said the Government’s emergency Bellwin scheme had been activated to reimburse eligible councils for certain costs they incur.

Mr Johnson said: ‘On Friday, I visited Matlock in Derbyshire, where the flooding has caused devastation to people’s homes and livelihoods.

‘I’m in awe of the community’s spirit and resilience in the face of this awful ongoing event.

‘It is the same spirit seen in the affected areas across Yorkshire and the Midlands this past week.

‘It is the stories of volunteers, of neighbours and of friends often literally carrying each other through this time that I have found immensely uplifting.’

The dispute in Fishlake heightened as the Met Office said on Sunday that more rain is expected to hit the UK overnight.

It has issued yellow weather warnings for heavy rain on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.

All cover the South Yorkshire area and the crucial catchment area of the River Don, which remains high along its length.

The warnings cover the same areas that are still dealing with the aftermath from Thursday and Friday’s downpours stretching from Yorkshire to Derbyshire and the East Midlands.

Several areas were deluged with one month’s worth of rain in a day, and a woman died after being swept up in floodwaters.

The body of Annie Hall, the former High Sheriff of Derbyshire, was found in the River Derwent on Friday morning after she was engulfed by floodwater in Darley Dale, near Matlock.

Derbyshire County Council has made £100,000 available to help residents and businesses affected by the recent flooding.  

The county council has set up the Derbyshire Floods Hardship Fund for Residents and the Derbyshire Floods Business Hardship Fund.

Residents who were evacuated or whose homes flooded will be eligible to apply for a one-off payment of £104.   

Mr Johnson visited Matlock on Friday while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn met flooded residents in Conisborough, South Yorkshire, on Saturday.

On Sunday evening the number of ‘danger to life’ severe flood warnings was reduced from seven to five. All are along the River Don in Yorkshire.

There were also 43 active flood warnings and 103 flood alerts.

‘Scumbag’ criminals take advantage of severe flooding to break into abandoned cars

Shocking video shows how criminals are taking advantage of severe flooding to break into abandoned cars.

The clip films vehicles in a flooded road in Bolton-Upon Dearne, South Yorkshire, with windows smashed and doors wrenched open.

The footage was filmed by Micheal Hearne, as he drove along the submerged street, who said it was ‘unbelievable what level people drop too.’

Mr Hearne, from Sheffield, captioned the video as ‘Like something off a film’ adding: ‘robbing abandoned cars and vans. Really.’

The video includes a black Vauxhall estate that has had its front side window and rear side window broken.

.The footage was filmed by Micheal Hearne, as he drove along the submerged street, who said it was ‘unbelievable what level people drop too’

The clip films vehicles in a flooded road in Bolton-Upon Dearne, South Yorkshire, with windows smashed and doors wrenched open

The video includes a black Vauxhall estate that has had its front side window and rear side window broken

A black BMW with its rear window smashed in is also seen along with a van that has clearly had its rear doors forced and front windows shattered.

Karen Whapplington wrote under Michael’s post: ‘Oh my dear lord what complete and utter scumbags. I am shocked that there’s scum that would do this.’ 

Jason Blessed said: ‘What kind of area is it turning into. Sodding disgusting. Those poor b****s have it bad enough their cars a knackered.

Then some low life t**s do that.’

A black BMW with its rear window smashed in is also seen along with a van that has clearly had its rear doors forced and front windows shattered

Bel Miles wrote: ‘They thought it was an episode of The Walking Dead and went to check for supplies. Tramps.’ 

Speaking today, Michael said he filmed the clip on Saturday following heavy rain the previous two days.

He said: ‘I just thought how could people drop that low to go waist deep in water and vandalise or rob stranded cars. Owners not turning up to recover their car. They are now vandalised.’

‘It was passable that morning as the water level had gone down from the night. It was all closed off yesterday for the recovery and cleaning up the road.’ 

South Yorkshire Police has been approached for comment.

More heavy rain is expected in parts of Yorkshire and the Midlands already suffering from flooding.

The Environment Agency has 44 flood warnings in place across the country, including five severe warnings on the River Don in South Yorkshire. 

A yellow warning for rain remains in place over parts of Yorkshire and the East Midlands on Monday. 

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