Mum ‘cried out of tears’ after rain water pours through walls in UK flood crisis

A young mum forced to evacuate by the floods devasting the north of England has explained how she has 'no tears left to cry' over what's happened to her beloved home.

Hannah Booth, from the Bentley area of Doncaster, and son Malachi, seven, are staying with eight others in her mum’s house after her sister was also evacuated.

The 36-year-old said: “When water was pouring through my walls I stood in the lounge and cried – but I’ve run out of tears now.

“We’re worried insurance is going to sky-high again. Christmas is cancelled. We might as well forget it.”

Doncaster in South Yorkshire is one of the country’s worst-hit towns and families have been warned it could be up to a year before they get their homes back.

The crisis gripping parts of the country is laid bare in a startling photograph of a farm sat isolated by floods after downpours caused a river to burst its banks.

The scene in Lincolnshire – where more than 1,000 acres of farmland are now submerged – came amid fears a further 60mm of rain will hit today.

And as people across the UK struggle with the aftermath of the torrents, one devastated mum told of how “Christmas is cancelled” after her home was ruined.

Henry Ward’s farm and outbuildings were cut off after Barlings Eau, a river near Lincoln, breached. He is calling for action from the Environment Agency.

He said: “I’d just like a plan going forward, what’s going to happen in the short-term. The breach, it’s still open, it’s still flooding. We’d just like to know when they’re going to plug the hole.”

The EA said it was “working to develop a plan to pump water back into the surrounding channels”.

There are 12 flood warnings in place for Lincolnshire and the National Farming Union said it was “really nervous” about today, saying there had been “unprecedented” damage.

Re-Read, a social enterprise based on the banks of the River Don that gives kids free books, had 10,000 of its 12,000-title handout stock ruined while 100,000 books earmarked for sale were damaged. Thousands of pounds have been raised to help it and chief executive Jim McLaughlin said: “It’s been awful.”

In the nearby village of Fishlake, half of the 700 residents have fled and those who stayed have faced waist-high water.

And the floods claimed the life of Annie Hall, former high sheriff of Derbyshire, on Friday after she was swept off in Darley Dale. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visited victims in Bentley yesterday and slammed the Government’s response. A letter he sent Prime Minister Boris Johnson had prompted an emergency Cobra meeting.

Mr Corbyn said: “The Conservative Government’s response to the floods has been woeful. Boris Johnson waited five days before calling a Cobra meeting – and only after I wrote demanding it.”

But Number 10 insisted the meeting was planned ahead of his intervention.

Speaking after the Cobra meeting, Mr Johnson said the country had to “prepare for more floods” this winter because the ground is so waterlogged. Urging people to listen to the “sound advice” of emergency services, he said: “When they advise you to evacuate, do so.” He also insisted authorities are working “flat out” to deliver an adequate response.

The PM said £2,500 will be made available to businesses hit by flooding, while the equivalent of £500 per home will be offered to councils to kick-start recovery.

Graeme Trudgill of The British Insurance Brokers’ Association said the floods could cost at least £30million – but the true cost could be higher.

Some locals in Doncaster told of their fury after being left “with nothing”.

Many were uninsured as premiums rocketed after the 2007 flood.

One resident spent 10 years battling to get insurance cover – with some firms quoting up to £350 a month. Jackie Evans, 50, from Bentley, said: “After 2007 nobody would touch us.

“It’s scandalous. Companies were asking for proof the council were taking steps to stop further flooding. I phoned the council to ask for that and they couldn’t.”

Jackie finally found an insurer for £53 a month. But a neighbour 500 yards away, not flooded in 2007, pays £17. Another local who could not get insurance had been saving in case it happened again. Glyn Aylott was yesterday arranging for his front wall to be rebuilt after floodwaters destroyed it.

He said: “I’ve no insurance because it went from £300 a year to £1,000. So instead I’ve saved £3,000.”

Many locals were also furious sandbags only arrived after their homes were flooded. And residents in 50 caravans on a park under the riverbank said they were lucky to escape alive when the “wall of water” swept in.

They were angry at not being evacuated and were only warned about the flooding when Warden Stuart Badham started knocking on doors in the early hours of Saturday.

Mr Badham said: “It was atrocious. I was up all night, up and down the bank checking the water but we had nobody official here. Me and my partner ran around braying everyone. All our homes are gone.”

Julie Smith, 52, added: “Nobody helped us. I’m now sleeping on a friend’s settee.”

Andrew Morris, who had his kids aged five, two and one staying with him, said: “I won’t go back now. My eldest daughter was really upset. I can’t risk bringing my kids back here, it’s too dangerous.”

Five severe flood warnings remain in place around Doncaster. A total of 38 flood warnings are in place across the country, with 12 around the River Don.

Labour has pledged a £5.6billion pot for flood defences over 10 years.

It comes after the Lib Dems promised £5billion over five years.

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