Don Your Way column: Doncaster's community spirit shines through in flood tragedy

It goes without saying that this week’s Don Your Way column leads off on the devastating floods which have wrecked large swathes of Doncaster over the past week.

By Darren Burke
Thursday, 14th November 2019, 11:17 am
Updated Thursday, 14th November 2019, 11:18 am

The River Don has once again done its damage, carrying out a wave of destruction from Sheffield through to Rotherham and of course Doncaster.

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Hundreds of homes damaged, evacuations, cars swept away by floods.

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Community spirit has shone through in Doncaster's flood adversity, says Darren Burke.

“It has been destruction on a widespread scale.

“Fortunately, despite receiving a severe flood warning for my own home address late on Thursday night, I was spared the deluge that people all over South Yorkshire have to endure across the space of the last week.

It instantly set me thinking back to the floods of 2007.

Back then, I was working in Doncaster.

Then I spent hours in my wellies in the most badly hit areas.

I can recall speaking to people on the streets of Bentley, Toll Bar and Sprotbrough, standing at the side of the River Don for hours on end as the waters came perilously close to the top of the banks.

This time around, I was based in the office, delivering the updates, but my heart was still touched by the tragic scenes of damage coming in.

Indeed, several colleagues were also busy attempting to keep the waters away from the door.

Rich or poor, black or white, flooding affects all of us – whether directly or indirectly.

But despite the sludge and the misery, if there’s one thing us Yorkshire folk do and do well, that’s mucking in and helping each other out.

Over the course of the last seven days, wonderful stories of community spirit have come to the fore.

People fearlessly ploughing through the water to rescue others, communities coming together to collect vital supplies such as food and clothes, people opening their doors to the most badly hit, stories of bravery and fundraising.

While nothing will repair the pain and damage of what has happened and that it will be a long, slow and potentially expensive road to recovery for many, it is quite clear that the coming together of neighbours and comradeship will continue to thrive in the months and years ahead.

I’m immensely proud how the people of Doncaster have shown themselves in the face of adversity and I can guarantee they will go on doing exactly the same as time passes in the weeks to come.