Lancaster Quay residents on flooding: “the tide was huge, it was scary”

Aftermath of the unprecedented flooding over the weekend in Lancaster.'Firefighters pumping out flooded buildings on Cable Street.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'7-12-2015
Aftermath of the unprecedented flooding over the weekend in Lancaster.'Firefighters pumping out flooded buildings on Cable Street. PIC BY ROB LOCK'7-12-2015

As the Lancaster district recovers from the havoc caused by Storm Desmond, reporter Gemma Sherlock talks to some of those hit by the floods.

Quay residents are taking matters into their own hands as the horrific aftermath of Storm Desmond still lingers.

Now I have a false sense of security, maybe the wall is not enough

Darryl Darling

Some residents on St George’s Quay are considering extra flood defences to their properties after the “freak accident” caused utter chaos across the district.

Flooding left some people trapped in their homes without power, whilst others evacuated completely.

Patrick Wallace and Carri-Ann Bolland were due to move from their home on St George’s Quay when the storm arrived.

The couple were on their last trip to their new home on Pottery Gardens when the power was cut off.

Patrick said: “The tide was huge, it was up to the wall, it was scary, all you could see was big hay stacks, around about 40 of them floating down the river, then the container hit the bridge.

“Once the lights went out we thought, we are not going back to the old house, you could see cars floating away.

“The house is 250 years old, because the drains are that old, all the drains came up in the back, but our house wasn’t flooded.”

The basements between the properties of 7-11 were flooded and although power returned most of those flooded still could not use their power due to health and safety.

Darryl Darling has lived on the Quay for more than ten years and is now hoping to save up for extra flood defences on her home.

She said: “We were okay here this time, the flood wall was fantastic.

“When I first moved here there wasn’t any sort of wall, it was just railings so we would have been washed away completely had that been like that.

“I was watching the river on Friday at around 8pm and I could see it getting higher, I do find it exciting the force of nature but it sort of got to the point of no return.

“Now I have a false sense of security, maybe the wall is not enough.”

Darryl is looking at putting flood gates on both doors at a cost of £360 each, the gates are designed to block any incoming water. Airbricks can also be sealed as well as drain traps.

Darryl said: “All in all it will be about £1,000 and I just don’t have that spare.”

Quay resident Ruth said: “I could see the river getting higher and I thought right I need to move my car and presents off the floor. It has made me think to not leave important documents on the bottom floor around the house.”