A month on since South Yorkshire was hit by its most devastating floods in over a decade, affected communities are still coming to terms with what happened with latest figures revealing more than 1000 homes were damaged by the unprecedented levels of rainfall many of which are still uninhabitable today.
As the rain hit hard on November 7, water began spilling into homes with families facing a race against time to move what belongings they could out of the reach of the rapidly rising water as they retreated upstairs.
Others had to leave their homes or wait to be evacuated.
Communities in Bentley and Fishlake in Doncaster were the worst hit with homes and businesses destroyed in minutes.
A volunteer at St Peter’s Church in Doncaster said: “One man told me that he’s been thinking about just driving into a brick wall. His wife is at home just staring into space and not talking. They can’t cope with what has happened to them.”
Read more: 28 shocking photos of the flooding in Yorkshire
After the flood waters subsided, taking weeks in some areas, people are now assessing the damage and long-term implications and cost of making their houses homes again.
South Yorkshire’s Community Foundation (SYCF), a local charity, set up an emergency appeal the day after the flooding hit and has been working to provide financial relief to affected households. Beginning with £200 blanket payments to help families with immediate needs, soon larger payments will be available to help those now dealing with repairs to their homes.
SYCF ran a similar appeal in 2007 and raised almost £1.6 million at that time to distribute out into communities.
This time around the charity has already raised just under £500,000 and is continuing to distribute funding to affected households.
Ruth Willis, Chief Executive of SYCF said the charity has had an “incredible response” to its appeal with people being extremely generous.
She said: “Our work on the flood appeal and supporting people will continue into the long term and we are doing our best to raise as much money as possible as for many the cost of the clean up and repairs their homes need is unfortunately going to be high, whether they are insured or not.
“I visited a woman living in Bentley in one of the worst flooded streets and even nearly four weeks after the floods she still has water pooling under her floorboards. This was even with running industrial level dehumidifiers and heaters to try and dry it out.
“What was particularly troubling was that she also has lung disease and has no other option but to continue living in her home despite the damp, which is a huge risk to her health.
“So many people, who are still reeling from the floods are incredibly vulnerable. The community efforts on the ground are truly amazing and humbling but we need more support and more resources for everyone impacted. I can’t overstate how important it is that we raise as much money as possible so we can help as much as we can.
As Christmas draws ever closer, volunteers across South Yorkshire are organising numerous Christmas parties and dinners to try and provide some relief to families as they deal with the continued disruption the floods have caused.
Anyone who wishes to support victims of the recent floods can also donate to the South Yorkshire Disaster Relief Appeal with a special Just Giving page set up for those affected.