Couple’s newly-renovated house in South Yorkshire village flooded as their baby girl is born: ‘It’s devastating – we’ve no idea when we might get home’
Residents in a Doncaster village cut off by the worst floods in decades have heavily criticised the authorities for a lack of communication and support – with one couple unable to get back to their house after the birth of their baby daughter.
Around 700 people in Fishlake near Doncaster were told to leave their homes over the weekend after seven separate ‘threat to life’ flood warnings were issued for the River Don.
But villagers said the warning was ‘too little, too late’ as many homes had already been deluged by the time they were told to evacuate.
Rescue crews have been drafted in from across the country to help people get out of the village, which has been cut off as high water levels have made roads impassable.
Businesses and homes have been left ravaged by the flooding and villagers have taken shelter in the local pub and church on higher ground.
New parents Dan Greenslade and Jade Croft cannot get back to their house in the village after the birth of their baby daughter Indie on Friday.
Dan, a marketing manager, said the couple were given no prior warning they were at risk of flooding and has slammed the authorities for their response.
The couple had spent around £5,000 renovating their £180,000 end terrace house in Fishlake ahead of the arrival of their first baby.
But when Jade, aged 29, went into labour on Thursday night, they never thought they would not be able to return home.
Dan said he has not been able to get home to see the damage for himself yet, but he fears the couple's furniture and possessions will be ruined as flood water in the village is as high as ground floor windows.
They are staying with Jade's parents in nearby Hatfield while they await news on when they can return home.
The 34-year-old said: "My sister lives over the road and she was evacuated while we were in hospital.
"She ran over and moved a bit of stuff upstairs for us, but there was only so much she could move.
"All the heavy stuff, the fridge, the sofa, the furniture, will be ruined.
"All the baby clothes and things are in the house and we can't get back to get them.
"We have had to rely on friends dropping off old baby clothes for her to wear.
"We had just finished renovating the house three weeks ago to get it ready for the baby, then this happens.
"We have no idea when we might be able to get into the house.
"It's devastating not being able to go home and spend time with our new baby in our home."
Dan said he has been left frustrated at the lack of communication from the authorities, before and after the flooding.
He added: "We just don't know what's going on.
"We have not heard anything from the council or the Environment Agency, nobody is replying to us.
"We don't know how long we will be out of the house, if we need to rent somewhere in the meantime, or anything. It's frustrating.
"We were looking forward to bringing the baby home and starting our family life together.
"The rescue crews have been great and support has been drafted in from around the country, but I don't feel like there's any support from Doncaster Council.
"Two weeks ago, the waters got over the breaches. Every year, water levels in the river get high, so they knew it could happen.
"When we saw what happened in Sheffield on Thursday, we feared the worst.
"You'd have thought that the council would have done something in preparation, but they issued severe flood warnings to five other villages.
"By the time we had a flood warning and sandbags were given out, we were already flooded."
Pam Webb, who runs the Truffle Lodge luxury Spa in Fishlake, said her family home and business has been devastated by the flood.
The ground floor of her property is completely submerged and a 10-acre field backing on to it has been turned into a lake.
She has criticised the authorities for failing to properly communicate with residents and rescuers.
She said: "It is absolutely devastating and heartbreaking.
"It's my family home and business. I established it four years ago and built it up to what it is now and it's gone overnight.
"It is completely devastated. It is going to be 12-18 months at least to get back on my feet and I don't think I could sustain that.
"The fire crews that have been here from all over the country have been absolutely brilliant, but they have been left in the dark.
"They didn't know where the dykes were in this area, they didn't have any local knowledge whatsoever. They were totally left in the dark.
"Some of the fire crews who were rescuing people should have finished at 7am yesterday and they were still here at 11pm.
"Devastating is an easy word to use but it's completely devastating and it's heartbreaking."
Linda Bushell, who fled her house on Friday night when she saw roads had been flooded, said she only received a text message from the Environment Agency after the water had come into her house.
She stayed at the Hare and Hounds pub on Friday and Saturday night and is expecting to stay there again tonight.
She said: "I've been back to my house to grab a few things and it's a complete mess.
"It's completely under water, I have a huge hole in my kitchen wall and everything is just floating about in my garden."
A spokesman for Doncaster Council said: "Six severe flood warnings remain in place for Fishlake, Barnby Dun, Kirk Sandall, Kirk Bramwith, South Bramwith and Bentley Rise.
"This means there is a risk to life in these areas. The Environment Agency expect these warnings to stay in place for at least 24 hours.
"Fishlake residents have been advised to evacuate, if you are still in Fishlake call 01302 735688 so we can organise evacuation immediately by South Yorks Fire and Rescue.
"We can only offer dedicated support to people who are not in an area where there is a threat to life."