Tadcaster flash storm on Saturday 22nd August (last Saturday). The group was unable to attend every single incident of flooding during the evening and several properties suffered from flooding and subsequent damage – we are always in need of volunteers.
Even though we have prepared for bad weather this was far beyond anything we had ever seen in Tadcaster. Roads, gardens, garages, homes and businesses were affected which we hoped wouldn’t happen again after the storm on August 8th 2014. Even though we all know that there will always be some damage to areas during adverse weather conditions, we always hope for a good outcome with minimal damage.
The torrential rain which started around 5pm was worse than we had been led to believe by any of the weather services, in fact when the weather front was rolling in we had several people telling us that it “looked like something from a movie” or “an apocalypse”. On top of this we had bouts of high winds which forced water around so fast we had no time to react to every incident.
The storm combined with thunder and lightning made the conditions treacherous and dangerous for volunteers and emergency services.
However, the available volunteers turned up to help us, which without them damage would have been so much worse (without a doubt).
Requests for assistance were responded to as quickly as possible but with the rising water in the town center, the risk factors had to be reassessed very quickly.
The emergency services (fire and police) arrived quite quickly considering the conditions and the previous incidents which they had been sent to deal with.
We had all been stood outside in the torrential rain; some of us had been up to our knees in floodwater and many had been sandbagging different areas for hours. As group members returned to our staging point they reported on events in their areas and how best we could continue to help.
Then the rain had stopped, the storm had passed and all flooded areas had been drained, we walked around the affected areas looking to see if anyone was still in trouble but the streets were now filling up with people on nights out and the traffic was back to normal. There was no more that the team could do.
In August 2014 the rain peaked at 72mm which was torrential
On Saturday 22nd August 2015 the rain peaked out at 97mm which was marked on the weather maps by the light lilac colour over Tadcaster (Met office colour coding), there are only 5 more colours on the scale after this but around 20 before it .
At the start of the storm there were 2 senior coordinators and 8 volunteers, we were joined later by 2 more volunteers for the clear up.
At the height of the storm there were just 10 people trying their best to help as many people as possible with sandbags, information, emergency service coordination and trying to prevent any more damage to properties in the direct flood affected areas.
If you or you know someone who was affected by INTERNAL OR EXTERNAL floods on Saturday the 22nd of August please phone Yorkshire Water to report the incident ASAP on 0345 1 24 24 24
If you do not report the incident no action can be taken….
If you were affected by flooding you can find details for cleaning up afterwards in this guide – https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/FLOODS-HOW-TO-CLEAN-UP-YOUR-HOME-SAFELY
Photos of Bridge Street Tadcaster yesterday… pictures by Mike Appleyard at Calcaria Stoves