Doncaster couple finally back home at flood site as damaged river defence fixed

Three months ago, Phil Henderson’s business was swept away by the floods which hit Doncaster in November.

By David Kessen
Thursday, 20th February 2020, 6:00 am
Updated Thursday, 20th February 2020, 6:00 am

With no insurance in place to repair damage that devastated his Ferryboat Farm Fisheries angling lake, and the house on the site where he and wife Dawn lived, things were looking desperate.

But now he has reached a landmark, moving back to the site in a caravan.

And he says he now feels more secure after staff from the Environment Agency (EA) returned to repair banking that had been damaged in the major flooding at Old Denaby in November.

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Phil Henderson, at Ferryboat Farm Fisheries.

The couple have the caravan to live in after it was donated by Phil’s brother, with Doncaster Council paying the cost of moving it to his premises.

Phil had been worried about more flooding during the recent storms, because of a gap that had been left in the flood defences on the river bank.

But the EA put in a temporary mend last week before storm Dennis arrived, and has been back on the site this week re-inforcing it. He still evacuated his vans and machinery from the site this week, for the second time this month, after the EA put out another flood alert.

Phil said he had received a lot of support this week from the council, with chief executive Damian Allen visiting personally to check on the flood defences, and making direct contact with the EA.

Phil Henderson, pictured in his caravan.

“I think if the repairs had not been done last week, I could have flooded again,” he said. “I think they saved the day for me this week. It was a brilliant response. And the council has done a lot up here and made sure things like repairs to the banks have happened.”

“I may not have had any insurance, because I had flooded in the past, but the help I have had from the community has been incredible. I’ve had donations of furniture and people doing plastering and glazing for me. The kindness that has been shown since the floods has been better than insurance. I’m so grateful to people.”