Last chance to apply for flooding grant

John and Pamela Nickols
John and Pamela Nickols
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Flooding victims in Wyre are being urged to apply for grant funding to help protect their homes.

Anyone who was flooded during storms Desmond and Eva last winter can apply for up to £5,000 towards flood resilience equipment but must do so before Monday, December 19.

John and Pamela Nickols’ home in St Michael’s was flooded during Storm Desmond last December when the River Brock breached its banks. They suffered extensive damage as water came up through the floors and under the doors. As a result, they had to move out for nine months while repair work was undertaken.

The couple moved back in during September and have installed a flood fence and gates around the perimeter of the property, which are reinforced with steel to withstand the pressure of water. They’ve also had solid concrete floors put in to prevent water rising up.

John said: “The whole experience has been exhausting. It’s been all-consuming and we’ve lost a year of our lives. However we are back in our home now and the work we’ve had done to protect ourselves in the future gives us some reassurance.”

“We received a grant which went towards the cost of the work and I’d like to encourage people to take advantage of the funding available to protect their homes. Even small measures like having a pump and a generator can help to take away the fear of it happening again.”

Councillor Roger Berry, Cabinet member with responsibility for flooding at Wyre Council, said: “We’ve awarded £206,449 in grants to-date but there are still eligible households that haven’t applied. While it’s impossible to completely flood-proof a property, there are lots of things you can do to reduce the damage flooding causes.

“I urge anyone who hasn’t applied for funding to do so now. Please don’t wait until flooding is imminent as you simply won’t have time to buy or put measures in place. Even if you’re not eligible for a grant but live in a flood risk area, flood protection equipment must now be considered as an essential and valued asset for your property.”

John and Pamela have since formed St Michael’s Flood Action Group (FLAG), to help the whole community become more resilient to flooding.

Pamela said: “We’ve been through the process of applying for a grant and determining how best to protect our property, so can offer advice to anyone who needs some help. It is worthwhile spending the time now to protect yourself in the future.”

Grants are available to homeowners and businesses to help fund measures which improve a property’s resilience or resistance to flooding. To apply online go to wyre.gov.uk/floodinggrantscheme or call 01253 891000. The deadline to apply is Monday 19 December.

Wyre Council wants everyone in the borough to check their flood risk and it they are at risk, to take some simple steps to protect themselves should the worst happen.

Councillor Berry said: “One in six properties is at risk of flooding and a quick online post code checker can tell you your risk level. There are simple steps you can take now that could make all the difference in a flood, such as signing up to receive flood warnings from the Environment Agency, putting together a flood kit and collating emergency contact numbers and essential documents. Go to wyre.gov.uk/flooding for more information.”

For details of other community flood groups in Wyre visit wyre.gov.uk/floodgroups.