When a picturesque corner of the Yorkshire Dales was rendered almost unidentifiable by the sheer volume of flood water caused by violent downpours on July 30, people were left trapped in upstairs rooms of their own homes and motorists found themselves perilously stranded.
For some of those caught up in the rising flood waters in parts of the upper Dales, it was the volunteers at the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team who first came to their aid.
In one courageous intervention the team waded neck deep through water to reach a cottage where a family of four with a baby was sheltering upstairs. A fridge was found floating against the ceiling of the downstairs kitchen and the team retrieved food and nappies to pass up to the stranded victims.
Working around the clock, they rescued motorists trapped in their cars, evacuated homes and checked on livestock on flood-hit farms as part of a wider response by the emergency services.
To recognise the incredible efforts of the team of volunteers, whose work is funded entirely by donations, The Yorkshire Post has launched a fundraising drive, as part of our 2019 Rural Awards sponsored by Bishop Burton College, to contribute towards its annual £20,000 costs.
Sue Cross, president of the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team which was part of the relief effort during the severe floods in York and Carlisle in 2015, said the Dales deluge led to “a very challenging day’s work” on the team’s home patch.
“Being able to support our local communities and people that we know and work alongside had an extra meaning,” said Ms Cross, who praised the response of the community as a whole.
“In spite of the adversity and sights that we had seldom seen before in the area, there was an overwhelming sense of the whole community coming together to support each other.”