PHOTOS: Floods forced elderly residents to flee

Flash floods swept through a Worksop retirement home – forcing dozens of residents to flee their rooms.

By Danielle Hayden
Thursday, 8th October 2015, 2:30 pm
Worksop flash floods: Larwood House
Worksop flash floods: Larwood House

Heavy rain left the ground floor of Larwood House, Larwood Avenue, under several feet of water following torrential downpours.

It is the latest flood to hit the home – which is run as a partnership between A1 Housing and Bassetlaw District Council – in recent years.

Now a flood protection company hoping to install a system to tackle it is urging the councils to speed up their response to tackle it.

Worksop flash floods: Larwood House

Over the past year, Fluds UK has been working with the councils to install a system, but says work has been held up, as Nottinghamshire County Council or Bassetlaw District Council cannot agree on who owns the road outside the independent living centre, in order for new flood prevention technology to be installed.

Steve Morgan, director at Fluds, said: “The system is designed for properties who are exposed in this way.

“The system remains underground until flash flooding occurs. It then rises with the flood water to protect the property.”

The Guardian reported last year that Larwood House could be the first place in the UK to have the Fluds system, which would protect it from flash flooding like residents also suffered in 2007.

Mr Morgan said: “Bassetlaw council asked us to work with them last year to install a Fluds system across the road leading to Larwood House.

“As this was to be the first system in a local authority we agreed to work as a joint project in which we would supply the system for free. If the system had been in place on Tuesday, Larwood House would not have flooded.”

However, the council said a highways dispute was not the cause for the delay.

A council spokesman said: “It is wrong to say that a dispute over ownership of the highway is the reason why the Fluds system wasn’t installed, but in any case the council and A1 Housing have now moved on from this project.

“There are other measures we can put in place and there is a meeting taking place next week with the county council, district council and A1 Housing to agree a timetable for a engineered flood mitigation scheme for Larwood House.”

“The council is disappointed the proposed flood protection scheme could not be installed due to a number of legal, logistical and technical issues surrounding the public highway.

“Working with A1 Housing, our engineers have identified alternative flood control measures, though these are not yet in place.

“Unfortunately the sheer volume and intensity of rainfall on Tuesday overwhelmed local drainage, with a number of run-offs collecting and flooding Larwood House.”

Meanwhile, youngsters have been praised for coming to the help of the stricken residents. Five teenage girls who were passing by the home saw the build-up of water and went straight down to the complex to help out.

The district council spokesman said: “A1 Housing and the council would like to commend the actions of the girls who helped wardens, staff and tenants at Larwood House deal with flash flooding.

“They pitched in with brushes and even a snow shovel to help brush the water out.

“Their community spirited actions were very much appreciated by all at the independent living centre and we will be contacting them in the near future to thank them properly.”

Crews from Retford fire station attended the home at about 6pm and used pumping equipment to clear out the water.

A Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service spokesman said: “An excessive amount of surface water had entered the property.”

Nottinghamshire County Council also sent extra staff to help clear up some of the mess from the floods in the house and its grounds.