No end in sight for flooded villagers: Burton Fleming has 'siege mentality' after Christmas deluge
VILLAGERS in a community that has borne the brunt of East Riding flooding are bracing themselves for a long haul.
A siege mentality has taken hold in Burton Fleming, most of which has been under water since Christmas Eve.
Many residents have spent six days effectively trapped in their homes.
Teams from Humberside Fire and Rescue Service and the Environment Agency have been working around the clock to pump water away from homes. But the saturated ground means floodwater simply comes back up from the aquifer.
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Resident Ann Gibson, 71, said: "It's been horrendous but I'd say we're getting used to it now. The real problem has been getting in and out of our homes."
Thankfully, Mrs Gibson's son lives in the village and his car has been parked on higher ground.
It means he has been able to get out to provide vital supplies for his parents and others.
Mrs Gibson said: "We can get out of our house but it's too deep to walk across the road. If we go out, we have to walk along the side, up the bank.
"My husband has put two concrete blocks out to use as stepping stones."
Fire crews have been on the scene non-stop apart from eight hours on Friday morning when they were called away to deal with an imminent flood risk at Willow Grove in Beverley, caused by flooding from the Westwood.
That area has had to be pumped out again since then but no homes have been flooded.
Faced with a growing number of emergencies and insufficient equipment, Humberside Fire and Rescue Service has called on a nationally available high- value pump that can be used as a back-up. It means fire service equipment should be able to stay on the scene in Burton Fleming.
Problems started in the village when the Gypsey Race watercourse burst its banks.
About 15 houses have been flooded. The pumping operation has stabilised the situation but not significantly improved it.
An Environment Agency spokesman said: "We've still got our four pumps working there, alongside the fire service.
"There is a lot of water in the system and more rain is expected. We don't expect the situation to change for a couple of days yet."
Families in Burton Fleming were heartened to see the water level drop yesterday, if only by an inch or so.
A fire service spokesman said: "The immediate risk seems to have subsided.
"The pumping has had an effect. We are continuing to pump and it's a case of monitoring the levels."
Mrs Gibson said: "I think the pumping they are doing seems to be working. What would it be like if they weren't here?"
Burton Fleming parish councillor Keith Wells said: "Over the past couple of days, things appear to have been pulled together and I can only praise the work being done.
"The people that have been flooded are accepting it and are getting a lot of help from everybody in the village."
• More pictures: Flooding in Burton Fleming