Flooding still causing issues six months on

142309'Dawn Jackson and Gaeleen Bibby outside their shop on Sandside,which was flooded during the tidal surge in December last year'Picture by Neil Silk'03/06/14
142309'Dawn Jackson and Gaeleen Bibby outside their shop on Sandside,which was flooded during the tidal surge in December last year'Picture by Neil Silk'03/06/14

Six months ago Scarborough, along with most of the North East coast, was flooded following a massive tidal surge which brought waters two metres above high tide into businesses and properties along the seafront.

The effects of that fateful day are still being felt as store owners get back on their feet after painstakingly rebuilding their livelihoods.

The total estimated damage to Scarborough from the fateful night was put at around £1 million.

Harbourside Gift Shop in Sandside was closed until March after two feet of water burst through the doors, 
ruining the stock and knocking out the electricity supply to the area.

“The shop has been open since 1962 and that is the first time that water has ever come into the store,” co-owner Gaeleen Bibby told the Scarborough News.

“We had to get rid of everything, I have never seen anything like it, and I hope that I don’t have to again.”

However, the flooding was just the start for Gaeleen and owner Dawn Jackson.

“It took us seven weeks to get a payout from the insurance company to pay the workers we had to get in after the flooding.

“We had to pay out of our own pockets just to get the store able to open again.

“Then in May our insurance was up for renewal and the fun really began.”

On the May bank holiday weekend the business received a letter from its insurance company saying it would not be renewing their policy.

Galeeen said: “We got the letter at 3pm on a Saturday and the policy would lapse on the Monday, meaning we would have no liability or theft or fire protection.

“We knew we would have issues getting flooding insurance but not our insurance in general.

“We eventually got it sorted but we have still got no flooding insurance and paying four times what we were for our other premiums.”

The store has used some grant money from Scarborough Borough Council to purchase a flood barrier, which its owners says they hope to never have to use.

The tidal surge of December 2013 caused untold damage across the region.

Whitby was plunged into darkness when the power went out at the height of the floods, leaving emergency services to try and get to trapped residents in the pitch black.

In Scarborough the North Bay wall at The Sands was destroyed and part of a Yorkshire Water building site was washed away when the waves crashed over the sea defences.

The Spa wall was also badly damaged and business in Foreshore Road and Sandside filled with water and sand.

The clean-up operation took days and is estimated to have cost Scarborough Council around £250,000, with 
the rest of cost being paid by the Government and individuals.