Retford area mops up after flash flooding

RETFORD was hit by torrential downpours at the weekend with many areas badly affected.

Emergency services worked round the clock pumping water from flooded out areas.

Among the worst hit places was North Leverton which was swamped by several feet of water on Saturday afternoon.

A river broke its banks sending water cascading down the village's Main Street, ripping up tarmac from the road and damaging walls, fences, and drives.

"I have lived in the village for 25 years and I have never seen anything like it before," said villager Derith Hood, of St Martin's Road.

"There's a gentleman across the road who is 90 and has lived here all his life and even he said he had never seen anything like it."

"At its height it was really quite frightening because the water was several feet deep."

"There were hundreds of people about outside no one could quite believe it."

The storm began at about 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon and within hours Main Street was transformed into a river.

"The brook which runs though the village broke its banks about half an hour into the storm," added Mrs Hood.

"I was amazed by how quickly it all happened."

"I was worried about other people in the village."

A car got stuck in the flood and there were children in it and they were crying but they all managed to get out okay."

"I let people use the house as a shelter and for a while it became a bit of a home for waifs and strays but I didn't mind at all."

During the height of the flooding police told residents that power would be down for at least two days and to congregate at the village school if they wished to be evacuated.

Authorities put Retford Leisure Centre on standby as an emergency rest centre to accommodate any residents evacuated from their homes.

But just five households in North Leverton were evacuated and all went to stay with friends or relatives.

"All the villages around here have been affected," added Mrs Hood.

"The police and fire service came but it was a bit out of their control. There was nothing really they could do."

"There was a fair amount of damage caused but the main thing is that now we know everybody is safe."

"Just a few hours afterwards it was as if nothing had happened, apart from all the debris."

"Within a few hours of it being flooded all the water had gone."

Another North Leverton resident, who asked not to be named, said it was fortunate no one was hurt.

"When you see the destructive force the water had on ripping up part of the road it is a relief that everybody is okay."

"The main thing now is to clear up all the damage and help the village get back on track again."

Howard Tomlinson, the duty officer of Retford Leisure Centre, said that on Saturday evening they were put on standby to possibly take evacuees from North Leverton.

"At one stage there was the option of evacuating people to here but that was not necessary in the end and I think people went to stay with friends and relatives instead."

"But we are prepared to deal with such incidents and we can accommodate around 450 people."

The bad weather in Bassetlaw started on Friday and by Friday evening emergency services were called to a number of incidents.

Firefighters from Retford were called to about 20 incidents in less than 24 hours as areas of the town and surrounding area struggled to cope with the sheer volume of water.

At 6pm on Friday fire crews were called to rescue a motorist stranded in a car in flood waters at Headon and two hours later they rescued a driver who was marooned in a car at Wood Lane in Treswell.