'You can go home!' - all evacuated households in Wainfleet area told it is safe to return

All areas may now return home.
All areas may now return home.

Occupants of all evacuated households in the Wainfleet area have this afternoon been told it is safe to go home.

The final 248 properties in the Wainfleet area, including Thorpe St Peter and Great Steeping, were earlier advised to wait as work to repair the banks of the River Steeping continued following the announcement 284 homes were safe.

A meeting with emergency planning officials is being held for evacuated residents.

A meeting with emergency planning officials is being held for evacuated residents.

However, people have now been given the greenlight to return to their homes, following reinforcements of the temporary repair on the banks of the River Steeping by the Environment Agency. They have also installed equipment at the breach location to monitor the river level and CCTV in real time.

Work on a more permanent solution continues and steel sheet piling will be installed as soon as possible. This work will take some weeks but it is safe for residents to return home while it is completed.

Anglian Water has also confirmed that toilets and washing facilities can be used as normal.

Lincolnshire Police have told residents in regular contact and receiving support from the NHS or social services during the past week, they will be directly contacted about arrangements for their return home and have been asked not to attempt to return home before they have been contacted.

British Red Cross will be delivering information packs to people affected over the coming days. There is also information available to support people returning to their properties online at www.e-lindsey.gov.uk/Flood2019

For any inquiries relating to your return home, please call 01522 787034.

Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West, chairman of the Lincolnshire Resilience Forum, said: “The emergency services, our partners and volunteers have been working around the clock to get people back in their homes and I'm happy to announce it is now safe to return.

"We appreciate that this has been emotional and distressing time for local residents and our organisations will be providing ongoing support as things gets back to normal."

It is strongly recommended that residents returning home sign up for the Environment Agency's flood warning service. You can register by visiting www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings or calling 0345 988 1188.

Search for your postcode or ‘Wainfleet’ and then sign up for the flood warning area ‘Wider area at risk around Croft and Thorpe St Peter’ and flood alert area ‘River Steeping’.

Officers from the Environment Agency will also be in the town over the weekend to help people to sign up to the service. It is very important that residents follow advice issued via the flood warning service if future weather results in the need to issue flood alerts or flood warnings.

The streets that may return are All Saints Close, Barton Road, Bees Corner, Burkett Way, Croft Bank, Dovecote Late, Groose Lane, High Street, Hill Field, Liam Close, Magdalen Road, Merrifield Road, Mill Close, Mount Pleasant, Pattern Avenue, Railway Cottages, Rimbold Lane, Rumbold Mews, Skegness Road, St John's Street, The Walk, Turner's Crescent, Wainfleet Close, Winchester Road, Brewster Drive, Brewster Lane, Culvert Road, Eastend, Green Lane, Hastings Drive, Lymn Bank, Lymn Bank West, Matt Pitt Court, Matt Pitt Lane, Spilsby Road, Stanley Close, Station Road - Thorpe Culvert, Station Road - Thorpe St Peter, Steeping Road - Thorpe Culvert, Thorpe St Peters, Top Lane, Wainfleet Road - Thorpe St Peter, Wed Land Lane, Willow Lake Caravan Park.

MESSAGE FROM THE LINCOLNSHIRE PARTNERSHIP NHS FOUNDATION TRUST

The Lincolnshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust said: "We appreciate that people have been through a difficult time and may be feeling overwhelmed, stressed or worried. If you think you need help, you can:

"Contact your GP who will assess your needs and refer you to relevant services

"Self-refer online via steps2change talking therapies team for common mental health problems such as depression and anxiety

"Telephone 0303 123 4000 (LPFT Single Point of Access) or

"Email spa@nhs.net.

"Please find further information on LPFT’s website www.lpft.nhs.uk/our-services."

MESSAGE FROM PUBLIC HEALTH ENGLAND.

Public Health England said : "As residents return to their homes, our advice is not to use petrol or diesel generators indoors. The exhaust gases contain carbon monoxide, which can kill.

"If residents develop symptoms of diarrhoea and vomiting or respiratory illness, they should call 111 in the first instance.

"Residents should avoid contact with floodwater and take care if they must go into flood water by following our advice about how to clean up your home safely - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/348920/Flooding_how_to_clean_up_your_house_safely.pdf

"Feeling tired, anxious and having difficulty sleeping is normal after you have been flooded. We would urge those affected to contact friends and family for support as it can take a long time for life to return to normal. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/flooding-health-advice-mental-health-following-floods"

Earlier Chief Con Shaun West was speaking on BBC Radio Lincolnshire following an information meeting with emergency planners at Coronation Hall in Wainfleet last night at which the emergency services received a standing ovation for their response to the disaster.

Overnight the Environment Agency conducted a 'significant survey to understand the integrity of the repair to the bank', said Assistant Chief Con West.

"It has always been our aim to allow residents to return to their homes as soon as possible.

“The community spirit and togetherness shown by local residents has been nothing short of incredible.

“The emergency services, our partners and volunteers continue to work around the clock to get people back in their homes as soon as it is safe to do so.”

More than 200 people attended the information meeting for residents,at the Coronation Hall last night, where the Environment Agency faced some tough questions.

Russel Taylor told them: "You now need to be planning so this doesn't happen again."

Sir James Bevan, Chief Executive of the Environment Agency, also attended the Coronation Hall and spoke to residents who had been flooded ,as well as some of the 50 EA staff who are out on the ground in Wainfleet itself..

He said: “My heart goes out to all the people in Wainfleet who have been affected by flooding, I know it’s a very difficult time for residents. It’s good news that residents from nearly 300 homes will start to be able to move back in from today and our teams continue to work around the clock to ensure that it is safe for everyone else to move back in as quickly as possible.”

“I want to thank the emergency services and Environment Agency staff for their tremendous work to support the community.”

During his visit to the county Sir Bevan met Environment Agency some of the 160 staff working in the 24/7 EA Lincolnshire Incident Room, who are coordinating the EA’s response; and visited the emergency services Strategic Command Centre in Lincoln, where he paid tribute to the hard work of the local emergency services for their hard work.

He also visited the EA pump crews who are working 24/7, operating some of Europe’s biggest pumps, to bring down water levels. The EA pumps can move 1.5 tonnes of water per second and have helped bring down water levels to a safe level so people can return to their homes.

Residents in Great Steeping.had their flood debrief session at All Saints Church on Tuesday night with three flooded residents, district and county councillors.

Parish councillor Henry Wright said: "Couns Wendy Bowkett and Sid Dennis attended and made some reasonable points regarding the flooding.

"They answered questions from individual residents and started the ball rolling for a Public Meeting to be held later this year at Irby and Bratoft."

A public meeting to be chaired by MP Matt Warman at The Coronation Hall in Wainfleet for Thursday, July 4, at 5.30pm-7pm .