FLOOD ANNIVERSARY: One year on from the town’s traumatic tidal surge

Picture from Lisa Hollick
Picture from Lisa Hollick

On December 5, 2013, a tidal surge saw more than 45 streets and 800 homes affected by flooding.

At the height of the floods 253 people were evacuated, with 183 people accommodated overnight in evacuation centres.

In less than three days, 100 tonnes of flood-damaged goods were removed from the street and more than 300 white goods were removed.

Properties were gutted by the waters, while families lost personal items as well as beds and other furniture.

Sports venues such as the Princess Royal Sports Arena were turned into evacuation centres, before fears the water would spread further sent everyone to Grantham.

Brenda Hanson, of Witham Street, described the events of the night as ‘traumatic’, and told The Standard the water had reached two-and-a-half feet high.

She said: “I went to my son’s at the night time after he fetched me and when I came in the next morning I thought ‘oh god’.

“The carpet was all up, my plants had washed up, everything was destroyed downstairs.”

She said she lost everything - including personal photographs.

Mrs Hanson only moved back into her home four weeks ago having lived in rented accommodation, through her insurance, on Fydell Street for six months.

She said she had had difficulty finding a place for the first month because she owns a cat.

She has had the carpets replaced and the walls dried out and is waiting for a bit more insurance money.

She said it is now about building her life back up bit by bit.

However, the community spirit which followed was described as ‘fantastic’.

Others told The Standard’s reporter that their landlords had been quick to act to repair properties and get them moved back in, while others said how they felt they had been lucky to have missed out on the flood water - some by mere inches.

One person, who lived next to a pub, told how the water had gone into the cellar of the business, meaning that it avoided her property altogether.

Volunteers and members of the public, neighbours and total strangers, all came together to help others and were thanked, while groups of concerned citizens gathered via social media in the streets to help the clean up effort.

There was even a flood fund-raising rap song released to help raise money to be donated to victims of the disaster.