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Flash flood forces Tadcaster shop to close due to ‘devastating’ damage

Floods in Tadcaster on Friday. Picture by Jake Smyth.

Floods in Tadcaster on Friday. Picture by Jake Smyth.

The area is beginning to recover after the shock of the damage caused when it was hit by floods over the weekend.

Tadcaster in particular is taking stock of what remains to be done after flash flooding tore through the town on Friday night, causing drains to block up and properties to be filled with a deluge of water.

One business on Bridge Street, which saw the earliest reported flooding in the town, has been forced to close.

This means the Yorkshire Cancer Research charity shop, which makes up to £200 a day and has been open in Tadcaster for more than 40 years, will make a financial loss until it can reopen.

Voluntary manager June Hinchcliffe said at around 7pm the drains could no longer cope and fast-driving traffic washed water right through the shop, affecting both the front and back room.

She said: “It has caused a lot of damage. The carpets throughout had to be taken out and everything at low level that was touched by the water has had to go, including a lot of donations.

“It is just devastating having to throw away items that have been donated but with them being flood-damaged we just couldn’t sell them.

“The charity will have to spend money to get us back to where we were and we can’t open until we have dried out and got new flooring down, which means we are losing money every day.”

The charity is asking people to hold onto their donations until they can reopen, when they will be desperate for contributions.

According to Flood Action Group Tadcaster, there is now a great anger in the town at car drivers who drove much faster than necessary.

This then created waves that splashed water into business premises, causing some significant damage.

Group member Brian Percival said: “The big thing in the town centre is that the water wasn’t going away but it never reached the time when water was coming into premises.

“This was caused by waves from the drivers, and one driver splashed up waves to about six foot high.

“The feeling in the town is that there are too many highly irresponsible people. That is the big anger in Tadcaster, that people were not driving commensurate with the condition on the roads.”

Mr Percival also told the Wetherby News that water reached parts of the town previously untouched by flooding, including 60 homes on Westfield Crescent and on St Joseph’s Street, causing the beer festival to be called off that night.

He added: “I appreciate it was a flash flood but the emergency plan should have been in place and just didn’t materialise.”

Fortunately, the flood action group was on hand helping people affected in their businesses and homes and also delivered 300 sandbags on Sunday in anticipation of further destruction.

Group member Richard Rafferty said: “Nobody could see it coming. The MET Office had it down as heavy rain but nothing monsoon-style.

“We dealt with flooding at the book shop, ink shop, the ironmonger’s, the butcher’s, the barber’s, a restaurant and the charity shop.

“It was more than it has been for a long time, and it didn’t help with vehicles going through at a rate of knots.

“The ironmonger’s lost carpets and some stock and the barber’s were doing a mop up, but the charity shop took the worst of it I think and the group has decided to help June get it up and running as soon as possible.”

According to North Yorkshire Fire Service, between 7.07 and 10.30pm on Friday there were 70 calls about flooding incidents with as many as 12 appliances mobilised across the county, mostly concentrated in the south around Tadcaster, York, and Selby areas.

Nobody needed to be rescued, however, and the majority of the work carried out was to pump water to reduce levels in affected properties.

A fire service spokesman said: “We were busy with a large number of flooding incidents on Friday evening due to the heavy rainfall that fell.

“Thankfully nobody needed to be rescued and we’d like to thank motorists for heeding the advice not to ignore road closure signs.”

There was also flooding in Collingham, affecting drivers on the A58.

l HAVE YOUR SAY:

Were you affected by the flooding over the weekend?

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