Almost 600 homes are thought to have flooded in Lincolnshire due to Storm Babet, with further warnings issued. A Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) member also said there were “hundreds and hundreds” of near misses, with water going into people’s gardens and nearly reaching their houses.
The four schools impacted by the flooding in the county were; St Andrews Primary School, Leasingham, Waddington Redwood Primary Academy, Heighington Millfield Primary Academy, and St Peter in Eastgate, Lincoln. The latest figures of the impact of Storm Babet were given at a LCC executive committee on Tuesday, November 7.
Colin Davie, the Lincolnshire County Council portfolio holder for environment, said: “As of yesterday [Monday, November 6], we have confirmed 583 properties were flooded internally, including four school sites.”
Mr Davie also said there were “hundreds and hundreds” of near misses, with water nearly reaching people’s houses. He said: “It was quite clearly a substantial event, and there is going to be some enormous pressure in terms of how we deal with [investigatory] work.
“The 583 will not be the final number… most people will appreciate that if someone has water in their home, their first response will be dealing with the immediate issue – making sure they can live and function – before calling to tell us they were flooded.”
He added: “We also have to hope and pray that we don’t get even further heavy rainfalls now that the ground is totally saturated. This is going to be a challenging winter, which reminds us all that we need to be much more careful about where we build in the future and how we build if we’re going to avoid this becoming an even bigger problem for future generations.”
Ben Pickard, from Laneham, near Retford, was left with a severely damaged home due to the flooding, with the ground floor submerged in water which led to a challenging and lengthy restoration.
With 31 centimetres of standing water inside and even higher levels outside, the damage to his property was significant. The aftermath has forced Ben and his family, which includes two large dogs and a one-year-old son, to relocate to his parents’ house in Grantham, facing an estimated year out of their home as they embark on the recovery process.
Ben is looking into flood defences as a preventative measure in the future, including the construction of a flood wall, which could cost around £15,000. The figure is beyond what insurance will cover, although a government grant of £5,000 may provide some assistance.
Ben said: “It’s incredibly frustrating. It’s only ever going to happen this time of year, and unfortunately, it’s only ever going to get worse, especially with global warming. They’re never going to get better from this point on.
“The initial, knee-jerk reaction was right, we’ve got to sell the house, we can’t stay here and do this every two years, but actually, if you put the house on the market today, nobody’s going to buy it.”
He added: “You’ve got to go straight on to the offensive and work out what you can do to mitigate it in the future.” Ben said his insurance company had been fantastic throughout the process, however, he added: “Everybody recognises it’s going to be a long process and of course, now it’s happened, it’s always going to be there in the back of our minds – will it happen again?
“Which is why you can’t not do anything. You can’t live in that property this time next year having done no defence work.”