RESIDENTS OF a North Yorkshire town devastated by flooding last Christmas have met for the first time for advice on preparing for the risk of further flooding this winter.
Tadcaster locals gathered for the Flood Advice Fair at Riley-Smith Hall on Sunday 9 October, after the collapse of the only road bridge at the end of 2015 split the town in two, and led to over 130 homes needing to be evacuated.
The 18th century bridge, which connected the two parts of the town on either side of the River Wharfe, had already been closed due to fears about its structural safety before it collapsed in December 2015.
Representatives from Tadcaster Flood Action Group, North Yorkshire County Council, Yorkshire Water and the Environmental Agency among others were all at the fair.
They were offering advice on how to avoid the disastrous impact experienced last Christmas – which left some local businesses damaged beyond repair.
Nicola Eades, Service Co-ordinator of Tadcaster Flood Action Group, said: “The purpose of the event is to help prepare communities for flooding, and to help prevent it from happening.”
The Association of British Insurers said today that even buildings guarded by flood defences should have flood-proof doors in place – highlighting the importance of properly preparing for the risk of flooding.
Phil Wallace, Director of Flood Guard UK, said: “People need to look at the products on offer to help guard against flooding, and get them installed to minimize the risk to properties.”
The company offer different products to help prevent flooding, including a door sealing system that uses sensors which activate after detecting rising flood water.
Mr Wallace, 57, added: “The best thing to do, if you’re worried about flooding, is get a professional down for advice.”
Yorkshire Water representatives were informing residents about the impact of sewage systems towards flood risks.
Jonathan Piatka, of the Yorkshire Water Flood Risk Team, said: “We’ve got a drainage area plan of the Tadcaster sewage system with flow monitors in place to help oversee the system. This highlights areas of the sewage network that can be improved, and in doing so, helps to reduce the risk of flooding.”
The meeting also gave people the opportunity to discuss the developments of Tadcaster Bridge.
24 hour building work has been underway since 26 September, so work that is at risk of being delayed by rising river levels can be completed.
North Yorkshire County Council said the majority of the work will be boring piles, and that noise will be kept to a minimum.