Sunday, 17 January 2016
I travelled over to Hebden Bridge (where my daughter lives) on Saturday to support a fundraising event after the Boxing Day floods devastated the town. The fundraiser had all sorts of brilliant activities for children: face-painting and dressing up as pirates, a toddler 'rave' (disco!), lots of food and lots of music of all kinds for all ages. Great fun.
It is shocking to see the extent of the destruction in the valley. There is hardly a business in the centre of the town that is still able to function, let alone the countless families forced out of their homes. It is, however, heartening to see the community spirit and the determination to get back to normal. Some of the cafés are open and serving food and drinks, even though you can see the damp on the walls and the damage that will have to be put right. Some of the shops are operating as 'pop-ups', selling salvaged stock, or as market stalls, or online.
You can see in the pictures above that many of the shops have tracks for inserting flood barriers across the door. They had been designed to take care of the extent of flooding in the past - but see here for a photo showing the level of the Boxing Day floods along the main street. The barriers and sandbags were simply overwhelmed. Even some premises that had been 'tanked' (sealed) to five feet high were inundated.