The simple measures that saved Doncaster homes from floodwaters

Many households across the Doncaster town of Tickhill had to flee their homes due to this month’s flooding.

Monday, 25th November 2019, 11:27 am
Updated Monday, 25th November 2019, 2:04 pm

But flood relief measures taken by some residents after the 2007 disaster have meant they have escaped the devastation they suffered the last time their street was underwater.

Homes were submerged on several streets in Tickhill after the floods that swept Doncaster on November 7 and 8.

The water came over from the Paper Mill Dyke and spilled over onto residential roads including Home Meadows and Castle Gate.

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The relocated air brick which prevented Howard Travis' house at Home Meadows, Tickhill, from flooding
The relocated air brick which prevented Howard Travis' house at Home Meadows, Tickhill, from flooding

Although the devastation was not as extensive as areas such as Fishlake and Bentley, many residents saw their homes end up underwater, and were forced from their homes as they prepare for the long process of drying out and repairing their properties.

For some though, action they took in 2007 meant that their homes were saved from the damage.

Howard Travis’ property on Home Meadow was flooded out 12 years ago. But the experience led him to take action that cost him a few thousand pounds.

In 2007, his house had an airbrick close to the ground. After he was flooded, he moved that so it is now a few feet up the wall.

Howard Travis, aged 84, fitting the flood gates to his door which prevented his home at Home Meadows, Tickhill, from flooding

He also fitted flood gates to his doors – metal guards that he can attach to specially inserted fittings which provide a waterproof barrier in front of his doors.

This month he suffered flooding in his garage that wrecked his washing machine – but inside his home remained dry.

The 84 year old former Bridon worker said: “We were worried when the street started to flood. Paper Mill Dyche started to rise, but It was not until after dark that it started to come up over the bridge near us. After that the garden flooded and water was coming up the back wall.

“We were sitting up at 4am watching it streaming past, fearing we may flood. But in the end, only our garage was affected. Next door was flooded.

Valerie Jefferson, of Tickhill, shows where she fitted the flood gate that stopped her home flooding

“The general overview here was that there are 16 properties here and only four escaped flooding. The only thing we really lost was the washer. Now we’ve mounted it on concrete blocks to raise it if there is more flooding in the future.

“In 2007, it came up through the floor and past carpet level. We were out for five months then. This time it couldn’t get in through the air bricks because we’d had them raised. Fingers crossed, we think the measures that we put in saved us this time.”

Pensioner Valerie Jefferson saw water advancing towards her home on Castle Gate on the same evening. Although the Castle Dam is opposite her home, the water did not come over the wall, but breached the side of the stream further up the channel, before looping back towards her home along the road.

Valerie was also flooded out of her home in 2007. She was forced to leave for nine months.

But after that disaster, she installed a metal flood gate that she is now able to slot into place in to complete a barrier at the wall of her drive. She put the barrier in place when the water was advancing up her street.

It held out the water. Both her neighbours, however were flooded.

“We had to leave for nine months last time,” she said. “It wrecked the carpets and furniture back then.”

“This time my daughter came to help put the barrier in place. After doing that, she couldn’t get out again so stayed overnight.”

Areas of Tickhill which were affected by the floods have been a hive of activity. Tradesmen’s vehicles are a common site as work to bring the homes back to a habitable state continues.

Abandoned carpets and furniture are a common site on drives.

One resident in the town who has been flooded out, who declined to be named, said it had been difficult to get new accommodation because of the number of people who had been affected by the waters.

But Howard and Valery feel measures taken after the last floods has saved them serious heartache 12 years on.