Lancashire families rally together to beat the deluge
Families across the county were rallying together after flooding forced people out of their homes.
Schools were closed, houses were left without power and more than 20 homes were evacuated in St Michael’s after flood defences on Hall Lane were breached, leaving parts of the village under five feet of water.
Thousands of homes around Lancaster, which had been plunged into darkness over the weekend, had electricity restored yesterday, only for 42,000 homes to lose power again yesterday evening.
But, as forecasters warn of further heavy rain later in the week, communities and neighbours have pulled together.
Andrew McCord, 49, who lives in Blackpool Road in St Michael’s, said he and his wife felt “numb” after their home was flooded.
He said he and his wife, Julie, awoke to about three feet of water up the back wall of their home on Saturday morning.
He said: “It was the wall at the end of the house that faces the field, and at about 11am it started to fill in through the air bricks and we noticed the water was coming down the side of the bungalow onto the driveway.
“It started filling underneath the floor boards on Saturday and at about 4pm we could start to see the damp appearing on the carpet.
“Now it’s just past the skirting boards.
“We have no upstairs so we just lifted everything electrical on top of wooden things like cabinets to raise them off the ground, and switched the electricity off.”
The couple was planning to spend last night in their motor home on a friend’s drive.
Andrew said: “We’re both numb.
“We have only just put the Christmas tree up. Luckily we haven’t put all the other decorations up.
“We will try to spend Christmas at home, we’re not cancelling it – what can we do?
“It’s happened, we can’t change it.”
He said he and Julie had thought they were stopping the deluge by bailing out water, but said: “It just carried on and it was just a waste of time then.
“The Environment Agency had one of their big pumps on the driveway.
“It’s worse as you go down the road from where we are towards Great Eccleston.
“It just gets deeper and deeper – the fire brigade has been down on a canoe.
“It’s just water, there’s no road. I’m gutted.”
Around 45 homes in the village were identified as likely to be affected by flooding on Sunday night and the decision was taken to evacuate, with those affected taken to the YMCA at Garstang.
St Michael’s on Wyre Church of England School, on Hall Lane, was closed while flooding caused chaos on the roads, leaving people stranded.
Lancashire County Council said the village was ‘inaccessible’ from the West, as the A586 was completely submerged.
Lancashire Fire and Rescue took about 450 calls over the weekend and turned out to 350 separate incidents.
Spokesman John Taylor said: “Crews said they had never seen anything like it – it has been a testing time.
“But the way everybody has mucked in and helped out, I honestly believe everybody has done really well.”