Incredible before and after photos reveal ‘biblical’ levels of rainfall that hit flooded Doncaster village
These shocking before and after pictures of a flood-ravaged Doncaster village show the true extent of the devastation wreaked after ‘biblical’ levels of rainfall last month.
Now the waters have subsided after a month's rain fell in just 24 hours in Fishlake, residents are starting the long and arduous task of reclaiming their homes.
The aftermath of the horror floods that hit Fishlake can be seen as houses previously deluged by debris and sewage-filled water are now stripped bare of plaster and carpet.
Entire ground floors of properties have been destroyed, with homeowners still desperately trying to dry out walls and plasterboard, with less than a week to Christmas.
Many of the flood-affected villagers have ‘emptied their lives’ into skips and piles of rubbish lay strewn in gardens.
Fields that were submerged when the River Don burst its banks have been left damaged and previously lush green grass is damaged by large patches of mud.
Dramatic drone photographs from the time show the devastation in the village, near Doncaster, as roads and fields were turned into rivers.
The birdseye shots show how the community is still coming to terms with the effects of the floods today.
While new pictures of the same area show all the water gone, the devastation left behind will remain for most of the next year.
Residents have been told it could take up to 12 months before their houses will be repaired and many have had to stay in temporary accommodation.
Eileen Purcell, aged 85, was forced to flee her home of 45 years in Fishlake.
Her son-in-law Mark Wilson, 55, has helped to organise a clean-up and re-construction work at her house.
He said: "Myself and my wife are sorting the house out for Eileen because she's 85 and she's diabetic.
"She goes for dialysis and has little tubes in her neck - we don't want her going in the house because of the risk of infection."
Eileen's three bedroom detached house needs re-plastering, a new staircase and new carpets laying.
The pensioner's insurance covers her for the flood damage, but Mark said she has lost things that simply cannot be replaced.
Mark added: "It is absolutely devastating. Everything downstairs had to be thrown away.
"There's a lot of memories in the house, my wife Kate grew up there with her sister and brother.
"Photographs, paperwork, sentimental items have all been thrown into a skip. It's like you're throwing someone's life away, it's just heartbreaking."
Eileen's family have rallied round since she was evacuated from her home, but it has taken its toll and they have had to take time off work to help with the clean-up process.
The OAP will also be spending Christmas away from her house - where she would normally host the whole family - for the first time ever.
Mark added: "Normally we have Christmas there. The whole family would always go round to Eileen's for dinner on the day.
"We are trying to have as normal a Christmas as possible but Eileen is quite upset because she loves having everyone at her house."
Andrew Benford is staying with his nephew, Josh Knaggs, and has not been able to return to his bungalow in the village after it was submerged in a metre of water last month.
The plant operator, 55, lives with his 87-year-old mother, who is staying with her friend in Doncaster.
He said: "It is absolutely heartbreaking, there's no way we can stay in the house.
"We've had to rip all the plaster off, the floorboards need to come up and we are still waiting for it to dry out.
"I'm more upset for my mum because she has lost cabinets and furniture that has been in the family for generations that you just can't put a price on."
Andrew, who is hoping to privately rent a property until his bungalow is once again fit to live in, will spend Christmas with his daughter in Norfolk.
Volunteers across South Yorkshire are organising Christmas parties and dinners to provide some relief to families over the festive period.
Water rose to levels as high as 4ft in parts of the village as residents were forced to take refuge on higher ground.
Watermarks can still be seen on properties as the restoration efforts continue for homeowners.
Kind-hearted volunteers have organised a huge clean-up campaign ahead of Christmas aimed at removing piles of litter which have been left across streets, fields and farmland.
Stuart Smith, who is helping to coordinate the litter pick on December 21, said: “Our aim is to pick the litter that has settled since the flood waters have receded.
“Whether you can spare an hour or the whole day any help will make a difference.”