THE devastating flash floods which swept across the Yorkshire Dales this summer have left a council with a six-figure clean-up bill as more measures have been put in place to aid victims of the deluge.
Richmondshire District Council confirmed yesterday that the floods in Swaledale, Wensleydale and Arkengarthdale had cost the authority as much as £250,000 for the huge clean-up operation.
The flooding affected 250 homes, 35 farms and at least 40 businesses in Reeth, Langthwaite and Fremington as well as Grinton, Bellerby and Leyburn.
The authority has now activated a council tax discount and business rate relief scheme to help the flood victims, which members of its corporate board have endorsed. The schemes have so far paid out £102,000 to more than 90 homes and another £6,900 to three businesses.
The council’s leader, Coun Angie Dale, said: “The aftermath of this flooding was horrendous for those affected and we want to help in anyway we can.
“That could be through the council tax and business rate schemes – we just want to give some respite in these awful circumstances.”
Richmondshire District Council took over the recovery role on July 31, supported by officials from North Yorkshire County Council, Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.
Volunteers were brought in to provide emotional support to victims of the floods, while work to bridges, roads, and watercourses was also undertaken.
The district council looked after the provision of skips and sandbags, housing requests and hot food to residents with no access to their own home.
It also provided a park and ride service for the Reeth Show, which was held last month.
Councillors have been informed some of the £250,000 bill may be recovered from the Government, although Richmondshire’s taxpayers are likely to have to pay a significant proportion.
The “unprecedented” flash floods on the evening of July 30 destroyed two bridges and badly damaged roads in the Dales after up to four-and-a-half inches of rain fell in just three hours.