Inspector thanks “selfless” coastal flood community helpers at Ingoldmells event

Police and the helpers at the event on Wednesday.
Police and the helpers at the event on Wednesday.

Police have hailed the “outstanding community-spririt” shown by volunteers who rushed to help evacuate Ingoldmells residents when this month’s tidal surge came within a whisker of breaching defences.

A gathering was held in Ingoldmells Church Hall yesterday (Wednesday) to give Inspector Andy Morrice the opportunity to thank members of the community who played key roles during the floods earlier this month.

During the high tide, the outflow on Roman Bank, Ingoldmells, was identified as being at a dangerously high level, leaving residential properties situated below the outlet at imminent risk of flooding and a serious risk of life.

With a “50/50 chance” of the bank giving way, all residents from the properties at risk needed to be evacuated urgently.

Key members of the local community immediately rallied, arranging for places of safety in Chapel St Leonards and Ingoldmells to house the evacuated residents.

Luckily the banks held and people were able to return hom that evening. But the swift response impressed local police.

Inspector Morrice said: “Due to the enormous effort and overwhelming community spirit displayed by these individuals, we felt strongly it was only right to thank them for their efforts in person”.

The event was also attended by Sgt Kate Odlin, PC Tony Ryan and PCSOs Nicola Whitwham and Chris Wood, who were on duty throughout the emergency.

In Ingoldmells, Eddie Gasson, Mr and Mrs Arnott Watson and Anthony Stubbings were thanked for opening the church hall and providing hot drinks for those present.

They stayed until the last person left after 11pm.

Mrs Arnott Watson also visited the local Tesco store, who responded with great generosity providing provisions for the evacuated residents.

In Chapel St Leonards, Christine Lewry, Barry Mullally and Father Terry Bardell and his wife opened Chapel St Leonards Village Hall, and rallied around to provide bedding, along with bacon and eggs for those who needed to stay until they could return to their homes.

Letters of thanks were given to each of the helpers. In them Insp Morrice said: “Your community was at great risk from a possible breach of the sea defences, which would have caused major flooding.

“Without prior notice you succeeded in opening up local facilities and provided refreshment for those who were, or might have been affected. This was a selfless act, and I am sure that the community greatly appreciated this.

“Thankfully the sea defences were not breached, but this does not diminish the outstanding community spirit you showed in its hours of need.

“Lincolnshire Police is extremely grateful for your assistance, and I would like to take this opportunity to personally thank you, and recognise your involvement”.

Police, meanwhile, have urgedresidents to register with Floodline after it “became apparent” that many residents were not using the service.

“Always contact floodline on 0845 988 1188 or visit the Lincolnshire Prepared website here for the latest advice,” said police.