In June, the town of Wainfleet, Lincolnshire, was hit by severe flooding which left hundreds of resident dealing with the devastating after effects. Our Greyshirt volunteers didn’t hesitate to put themselves forward to help with the clear up.
Kate and Rosie
“It was all a bit of a shock really. Our circumstances have been pretty rubbish,” explains Rosie. “We lost my dad 9 weeks before the flood and that was bad enough. Then the flooding happened and it’s just been horrific. We found it all rather difficult to cope with.”
Rosie and her mother, Kate, live in Wainfleet, Lincolnshire which recently experienced torrential flooding. Kate has owned the house for 30 years and witnessed the 2007 floods where people were evacuated during the night but were able to return to their properties within a few hours.
“We’ve never seen anything like these recent floods,” Kate tells us. “We thought it would be like the floods 12 years ago; we’d leave but be back quickly. There’s a dyke at the back and that evening I was watching the water gradually creeping up towards the door. I was on my own and asked Rosie to come over. We expected the river to breach its banks but every time we checked, we could see the river bank so didn’t think it would go over the top and flood us.”
What the pair hadn’t realised was that the whole of the back garden was being flooded. By 4am, they decided it was too risky to stay put so packed some clothes and headed over to some friends where they stayed for a few days. After several days, they still weren’t able to return to their home because the flood damage had made the property unsafe.
“I hope to live there again but it may take months or maybe a year to get it straight” says Kate. “The flooding was totally unexpected. It’s very upsetting seeing something that you’ve had for years be destroyed.”
Kate found out about Team Rubicon from her local Councillor, Wendy Bowkett, who suggested we might be able to help her with the clean up. When the house was considered safe, our Greyshirt volunteers helped removed the damaged items which included carpets and white goods. “We really appreciate Team Rubicon’s help. It was one less thing to have to worry about in a very distressing time” says Rosie.
June and Derek
Derek and June, who have been married for 50 years, live in a house very close to the river bank. The flood left everything on the ground floor of their house, as well as their car, severely damaged. Sadly, it killed all their beloved chickens.
The elderly couple had to move upstairs to get out of the water, which reached 2ft high. They were eventually rescued by boat and moved to a care home in Skegness.
For our Greyshirts, finding out that Derek had previously been in the Merchant Navy (and had been around the world twice before he turned 18!) was a particularly moving moment – veterans were helping their fellow veterans. Now, Derek is full-time carer to June who has dementia. Being in a care home is particularly difficult for them because she hates being away from the familiarity of her home.The Greyshirts removed all the flood-damaged furniture and carpets from the property, swept it through and mopped up the remaining water, completing the emptying of the house in five hours.
Frank and Doreen
Our Greyshirt volunteers met local residents Frank and Doreen, who told them a little bit more about what they’d experienced during the flooding.
The couple have lived in Wainfleet for 3 and a half years and said they’d never seen flooding like this. The heavy rain began on Sunday and continued right through until the Friday. Within four hours, the whole area was flooded.
Their house is on higher ground so the water didn’t quite reach their door but they were told they couldn’t shower or use the toilet because the sewers were flooded. A state they anticipated lasting for several days.
“We can’t thank Team Rubicon enough for giving up your time to help our community” said Frank.