2007 Floods

The Hessle floods of 2007

Eve Johansson

What were you doing on Monday 25 June 2007?

In East Yorkshire, the average rainfall for the whole of June came down in an hour, falling on ground that was already saturated from heavy rain ten days before. The police station flooded. A local man, Michael Barnett, age 28, died when his foot was trapped in a temporary grille over the Western Drain at Astral Close. Despite the superhuman efforts of the emergency services, he died of hypothermia. The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, visited the St James Centre and Church Fields on First Lane where the elderly were badly affected.

Photo by Pat Howlett

I was down at All Saints’ Church first thing, to check what was happening as there was only a temporary cover on the roof (lead having been stolen over the May Bank Holiday weekend) and to check that the drains were coping and were not blocked. I then walked around the village. Prestongate was a torrent; one young woman (in high heels) was desperately asking for directions to Hessle High School as she had to bring a neighbour’s child home. I tried to walk home via Barrow Lane, but the dip just to the north of Salisbury Street was flooded so I turned back to walk up Tower Hill. In the cemetery the path at the Beverley Road end was impassable, and Swanland Road was a river. Another of your editors spent the day carrying precious possessions to safety upstairs and listening while water poured through her air bricks. Afterwards, for months there was a caravan in almost every front garden along Boothferry Road, First Lane, Cottesmore Road and parallel roads.