IT was the eerie roaring sound of a waterfall that told residents of South Ferriby that the worst was about to happen.
The water came from the Humber at “a frightening speed”, swamping nearly every home in the lower village and rushing six miles inland up the River Ancholme valley.
It tore through homes, ripping a radiator off a wall in one, turning a fridge upside down in another and swamping the local cement works.
South Ferriby was probably one of the worst affected in the region, but in dozens of other communities people battled with rising waters as they were plunged into darkness when the lights failed.
Dave Mouncey, still in muddy chest waders, told how he had to kick his kitchen door down to get upstairs from the rising waters rushing from the Humber, behind his house.
Pensioner Mavis Haywood, who lives close by, described how her car was caught in rising waters a few yards from her house, but was picked up by a passing four by four.
She said: “I got in the car and it was washing me into the dyke and then it stopped. A four-wheel drive stopped to help me. I got out and I was up to my knees in water – I was just so frightened.”
Others told of their gratitude to local farmers who used tractors to go down to the submerged village to check homes had been evacuated.
In north Lincolnshire 15 villages in total were flooded and some 255 homes.
On the north bank, more than 400 homes flooded, including 50 on Hessle foreshore, home to the Humber rescue inshore boat. There the lifeboat crew had to wade to reach their own station and boat.
Another 50 to 100 homes flooded at Reedness, where the defences were overtopped.
In Hull drinkers in a pub told how they saw their own vehicles float away before retreating upstairs after a torrent of water rushed in from the Humber, crossing the A63 and into Ferensway.
Contractors staying at the Inkerman Tavern on Alfred Street couldn’t believe their eyes as water started gushing in and they were then plunged into darkness as the electrics fused.
Contractor James Jackson, from Birmingham, said: “It was madness. It was the last thing you expect – you look at these things on telly. It happened that fast there was nowhere to go.”
Roads round English Street close to Albert Dock where the water gushed in were covered in silt.
In one side street huge chunks of tarmac had been lifted up as the powerful current fractured the road surface. The floods also affected homes on Victoria Dock and Hull Marina, where people were busy mopping up yesterday.
Standing on sodden, muddy carpets with his possessions perched on top of beds and cupboards, Stephen Briggs was intending to move as much of his belongings out as possible before the next high tide.
Mr Briggs, 45, spent the night in his car after water poured into every room of his ground-floor flat on Admiral’s Croft.
He said: “I have stuff in the bedroom that was two inches shy of the water last night and I am taking as many possessions as possible to Lincolnshire.
“Foolish me living next to a river, and I thought it was a perfectly sensible thing to do.”
Neighbour Graeme Barnfather, who was hosing down mud off his driveway, also had his house flooded. The floodwater started pouring in as he drove back from a nearby gym in his Land Rover.
“At first we thought a water pipe had burst, but within a few minutes it was chaos. We turned into the Odeon and it was literally gushing across the road. It was like a tidal wave. Chiquitos restaurant was totally swamped and cars were trying to escape – mine literally started to move sideways.
“The power went off as we started to try to move everything upstairs. The downstairs sockets fused and you could hear an explosion and then the power went out.
“One of our neighbours was being towed in a dinghy by the fire brigade and others were hanging out of their upstairs windows.”
Thursday night’s storm surge flooded homes along Whitby’s Church Street and many homes were left without electricity when two power substations failed.
In Bridlington more than a metre of water on top of an already high 6.3m tide swept through the harbour, flooding Rags restaurant, the Chicken Run, Gummers Wharf, shops on Harbour Road and Clough Hole car park.
Yesterday a clean-up operation got underway as people counted the cost of the damage.
As the region started the long haul to restoring normality there was generally praise for the authorities’ quick response, especially in Hull.
In all, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service attended 190 flood-related incidents and led out, or rescued, 181 people.
Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Donald said he was “delighted” with the multi-agency response and thanked the public for their co-operation and support.