Fishlake spa Truffle Lodge re-opens after floods devastated Yorkshire village

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The owner of a spa in a flood-hit Yorkshire village says she will continue to hold authorities to account over the crisis.

Pam Webb's home and spa business, Truffle Lodge, were badly damaged when the River Don burst its banks and flooded Fishlake, near Doncaster, in November.

Pam Webb owns Truffle Lodge

Pam Webb owns Truffle Lodge

She lost her livelihood 'within 20 minutes' and became a de-facto spokeswoman for the community, which hadn't experienced flooding in living memory before the breach.

Now, Pam can see the light at the end of the tunnel after re-opening the luxury spa following a huge clean-up operation.

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"I'm so relieved," said Pam, who opened the business in 2014 and has lived in the small farming village since 2004.

"Fishlake hadn't flooded in 100 years and it wasn't something I bore in mind when I opened the spa.

Pam outside her flooded home during the November floods

Pam outside her flooded home during the November floods

"The community has been fantastic, people have really pulled together. I did criticise Doncaster Council and the Environment Agency at the time for their slow response, but the council have redeemed themselves. The Environment Agency have a long way to go.

"The council sent personnel to help on day three and Pat Hagan, who was in charge of the relief effort, was fantastic. The recovery is underway now."

Truffle Lodge - which adjoins Pam's home - had a jacuzzi, steam rooms, outdoor hot tub and several treatment rooms for guests' use before the floods. The water reached the skirting boards and all of the rooms were affected.

The wooden floor in the pedicure room has had to be replaced, and the hot tub was beyond repair. The pool underwent phased drainage with the help of fire crews and has been fitted with a new motor and filtration system.

Pam during the floods

Pam during the floods

Pam originally stated that if the spa was not back up and running by early January then she would have to close the business for good.

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"We've taken quite a hit financially. Some guests transferred their bookings but we had to refund others. But I am positive and we have to hope for the future.

"I have six beauty therapists working here and another two who are more ad-hoc. It was a lot of pressure for them as they lost income, but they've pulled together and helped to clean up and I'm indebted to them."

Pam and other residents have received minimal compensation and she is campaigning for further pay-outs from government relief funds.

The aftermath of the floods

The aftermath of the floods

"When Boris Johnson visited he promised more compensation. It was a big statement and I will be holding him to it."

She also fears that some elderly Fishlake residents may never return to their homes.

"The village is like a ghost town, people have moved away and been displaced. It has quite an old population and I wonder if some of them will even come back.

"The impact on my health is a price you cannot pay - it has been mentally draining and a physical battle. I am now back to what I do best - running my business - and I will be keeping up the pressure on the authorities."

Pam met Boris Johnson when he visited Fishlake

Pam met Boris Johnson when he visited Fishlake