How Burton Fleming residents have coped with the floods

Lottie and Molly Sutcliffe, aged 9 and 11, check the sandbags at their home in Burton Fleming.
Lottie and Molly Sutcliffe, aged 9 and 11, check the sandbags at their home in Burton Fleming.

VILLAGERS in Burton Fleming spoke to the Free Press about how they have coped with the floods.

Many residents who spoke to us when we visited the village were quick to praise the sterling effort of firefighters who spent Christmas and New Year pumping water away from properties.

However most were also critical of what they called a “slow response” by East Riding of Yorkshire Council and the Environment Agency in trying to deal with the problem, with dozens of villagers saying they were refused sandbags before Christmas.

Andrew Gilfillan, of Bridlington Road, said he had been protecting his property from flooding since the weekend before Christmas, and had managed only a few hours of sleep in a week.

“I have been here 22 years, I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Mr Gilfillan. “I rang for sandbags on the Friday before Christmas and got told we’d had our allowance. Then they’ve been arriving peacemeal over Christmas and it has been really hard to try and protect your house. I’m pumping water out of the back yard and hoping the sandbags keep the rest out, but it is a struggle.”

Richard and Emma Hayton, of flooded Front Street, said the water had not yet reached their property - but are fearful of what might happen if it did.

“We are worried about it,” said Emma. “It has been coming through the floor in some houses because the water level is so high.”

Richard said: “I think we might be ok, because ours are new houses and they are slightly higher but it is a worry because the street is now completely flooded again.

“Normally at this time of year the water level is low, this is spring water. What are we going to do later in the year?” John Rix, who also lives on Front Street, said: “A lot of people in the village feel that there needs to be some sort of leadership and more communication about what is going on. People are worried and frustrated.”

Despite the frustrations, the community spirit of village has shone through.

Denise Free, minister at Burton Fleming Methodist Church, said: “I think villagers are pulling together extremely well, it is a feature of the area that they have a brilliant community spirit.

“Neighbours are checking on other neighbours and seeing if they need any help, and I think that is a wonderful thing.

“Many of the Christmas services have been cancelled at the church and in the village, and I’m afraid for many it hasn’t been much of a festive season.”

Mary Parkin, of Burton Fleming’s Post Office, said: “People have still been coming in but they might need a boat to get here soon.

“People are frustrated and panicking about their homes, but we have seen a good community spirit. We have also still had post deliveries coming in from Bridlington.”

Zoe Clarke, who lives close to the village Post Office, has had a spring of water force up through the floor in her garage. She said: “It has been horrific. I know that a lot of farmers have been coming round with hay bails to make up for sandbag shortages which has been appreciated by everyone in the village.

“It couldn’t have happened at a worse time of year for everyone.”