Residents demand answers over pumping station hit by floods

Environment secretary Caroline Spelman meets council workers cleaning up after flooding in Ottery St Mary, Devon.
Environment secretary Caroline Spelman meets council workers cleaning up after flooding in Ottery St Mary, Devon.
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PRESSURE is mounting on Yorkshire Water to act over a key pumping station which suffered major problems at the height of the latest flooding.

Carr Lane pumping station in Goole, had to be bypassed after it was inundated, and is still not functioning properly, according to local people.

The same station temporarily failed last year when another deluge caused widespread flooding. It is understood this time a number of pumps had to be turned off to prevent electrical damage.

Brigg and Goole Tory MP Andrew Percy said the company had damaged its reputation by “putting the shutters up” last week as suspicions grew after mobile pumps, water tankers and dozens of contractors arrived at the station. Having initially suggested contractors were only on site in case problems developed, Yorkshire Water has now admitted the station was affected by the storm.

Mr Percy, who is attending an emergency summit on Friday, with YW, the drainage board and town councillors, said people were “incredibly angry” and nervous about what more heavy rain could bring. The station has been bypassed by 700 metres (yards) of piping, with the discharge going into the River Ouse and dyke system.

In a statement Yorkshire Water said: “Our Carr Lane pumping station was also affected by the heavy rain. The storm damaged some pumps and we have been doing everything we can to maintain as close to maximum pumping capacity during these difficult conditions.”

As heavy downpours continued over the weekend, Summerbridge, near Pateley Bridge, suffered flash floods on Saturday night and its primary school was inundated with 4ft of water. In South Yorkshire fire crews helped to pump out a small number of flooded properties, mainly in the Barnsley area.

In Harrogate, firefighters said an elderly man and his dog had a narrow escape when they were swept away in a flooded beck at Bilton. The man managed to get out but the dog was initially missing. North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue said yesterday it had managed to make its way home following the incident on Saturday evening.

An 11-year-old boy was rescued from a swollen River Don after he and a man, 25, got into difficulties sailing a dinghy.

South Yorkshire Fire Service said the pair were pulled from the water yesterday near Doncaster Prison and taken to hospital.

Communities across the country began mopping up yesterday - including residents of Yealmpton, Devon, who were rescued as the River Yealm rose 7ft above normal on Saturday, threatening the Torr Bridge, as Devon and Dorset were hit by storms.

Homes were also evacuated in Leicestershire and a 20-year-old man died in Northumberland when his car came off the road in heavy rain early on Saturday.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman yesterday witnessed devastation during a visit to Ottery St Mary, near Exeter, where she said the Government had made available more than £2bn to build new flood defences.

However, Shadow Environment Secretary Mary Creagh, MP for Wakefield, said the Government needed to do more to help affected households.