‘We were abandoned’

ANGRY residents say they were left to fend for themselves as floodwater threatened their homes.

Three properties in East Mill, off Whorral Bank, are thought to have flooded on September 25 as other residents waited to see if their homes would be next.

But they say that there was no sign of any emergency services to help them and they are yet to see any representatives of Northumberland County Council.

The council has denied the claims.

One resident, who does not wish to be named, said: “At East Mill there has been no one from the emergency services, the county council or anyone at all out to see us. There were no authorities there when all the flooding was going on.

“The council talks about collecting information and helping people, but it doesn’t even have a clue which properties have been flooded. It seems to have totally ignored the Castle Morpeth Council and Northumberland County Council Flood Action Plan that was put together after the last flood.

“The services seem to have treated this as if it was just an everyday occurrence when in actual fact there have been about 100 people displaced from their homes. It is just not acceptable.”

Fellow East Mill resident Ian Marshall said: “Following the recent floods,the residents at East Mill appear to have been forgotten.

“The emergency services yet again provided a great service for the people of High Stanners and the town centre, but we were also flooded with 4ft of water in our lower level. Nobody from the rescue services or any respective bodies called to see if we needed any assistance.

“We face the same problems as the town residents from the flood risks of the Wansbeck. Furthermore, let’s not be overshadowed by the flood defence work that I feel may well increase flood risk for residents downstream from the town.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “Since East Mill is downstream of the reservoir, as with every other community downstream, it is going to benefit from a reduced flood risk once the work is complete. During the construction there is not going to be any change of flood risk to what it is currently.”

A council spokeswoman said: “County council and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) officers were in the area from Monday, September 24, throughout Tuesday, September 25.

“Highways and neighbourhood services officers carried out general drain clearance and surface water removal at East Mill and Whorral Bank, as well as other sites throughout Morpeth and other areas of Northumberland, from 6pm on Monday, September 24.

“NFRS crews were in and around Morpeth responding to emergency calls and monitoring the situation in fire appliances from 4.33am on Tuesday, September 25.

“The county council is looking into what happened, working with flood wardens and the Morpeth Flood Action Group to get a full picture of the effects of the floods. We welcome any information that residents and businesses can provide to help us build a detailed picture of flooding in the county to support future flood alleviation work.”

She added that the fire service was called about East Mill during the flood, but the water was too shallow to pump out and there was no risk to life so evacuation efforts were concentrated in other areas.

People should send details of flooding to fcerm@northum berland.gov.uk or contact the council on 0845 600 6400.