12th January 2016
Samaritan’s Purse UK Disaster Relief teams, together with volunteers from our local partner churches and Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Rapid Response Team chaplains, have been out in Kendal and Shipley, visiting families affected by recent flooding in the UK.
Earlier in January, we visited three families in Shipley at the request of the Local Authority, including the home of a single mother with a 20-month old baby. Although she had cleared the cellar area of items, the house was still very damp, with water on the floor. A number of other properties were also visited where families had themselves cleared ground floor furniture and floor coverings, but it was the emotional distress over their loss that was most striking – many people are clearly struggling to come to terms with the situation.
In one area, we met a couple who had been completely flooded almost up to ground floor ceiling level, and were able to pray with them; and also helped another couple to clear mud from their property. Their house had previously been cleared of furniture and carpets on the ground floor; the occupiers were suffering emotionally over their loss and very much in need of help.Support UK Disaster Relief
Our team cleared out the garage, putting items that could not be salvaged in a skip, and cleaning other items. The garden and patio area were cleared of mud and rubbish and the bathroom was given a thorough clean, restoring it to a point where it can be used again. The homeowner was very grateful for the help provided, and the chaplains offered emotional and spiritual care.
In Esholt, the SP DR team spoke to a number of residents who had been affected by flooding as a result of blocked culverts. A static caravan site with year round residents had been completely flooded, many of the caravans had been damaged beyond repair and had been picked up and deposited up to half a mile away in gardens and fields. Some residents had been flooded twice in two weeks when the culvert overflowed from the blockages.
We also encountered another location where people who were living in caravans had been badly affected as the caravans were moved by the flood water. Adrian managed to get his caravan back, but everything was wet, while Alex lost all items in his caravan when it was washed down the river. The SP team were able to source items for both gentlemen, including clothing and new sleeping bags.
The team also met with a number of business owners who had experienced varying degrees of loss in the floods. Steven’s coach business had lost one coach completely, with their premises flooded to over 6 feet, while Richard, who runs a small haulage company, had lost his caravan/office with most of his equipment/records. Alex, who has his own washing machine repair and reconditioning business, lost three-quarters of his stock in the floods.
And to make matters worse, fences had also been washed away so there was no security on the site, so the business-owners had to remain on the site to protect what was left.
Please continue to pray for these people who have lost so much in the terrible flooding. Please also pray for our team, especially for the three members who have arrived in Aberdeen, following an invitation to evaluate flood response in that area.