Flooding chaos results in roads being closed and RAF copter called to help
FIREFIGHTERS, the police and the RAF were called into action at the weekend as the emergency services received dozens of requests to be rescued from flooded roads.
Motorists were caught out by the depth of water, which was up to two feet on some roads in Long Eaton, Sawley, Draycott, Shardlow and Swarkestone.
In one incident, flood water around Sawley Marina prevented an ambulance from reaching a sick elderly woman on one of the boats moored there yesterday afternoon.
An RAF Sea King helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey, where Prince William is based, was scrambled to the marina and medics carried the elderly woman from the boat back to the land, before she was taken to hospital. Details about her condition were not known.
The Sea King was called because it was initially thought it might be necessary to winch down a crewman to reach the woman, though this was not necessary.
Couple Deanna and George Hibbert consider themselves lucky after they had to be rescued from their car by a passer-by when it was stuck in flood water in Ingleby Lane, near Swarkestone.
Firefighters from Kingsway and Ascot Drive stations – along with Matlock station's water rescue unit – had been on their way to help the trapped pair.
But before they arrived, firefighters were told by police that they had already been rescued by someone in the vicinity.
The couple, of Stenson Fields, were stuck near the Crewe and Harpur pub. They said: "We cannot thank the passer-by enough. He was a young man in a 4x4, who used a chain to pull us out.
"We were too traumatised to get his phone number but we thank him from the bottom of our hearts for his help. We also wanted to thank the emergency services for their help. Our car was a write-off but we are here to tell the tale."
Problems from flooding continued to mount throughout Saturday after river and brook levels rose and broke their banks.
Alex Johnston, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service group manager was frustrated that many people had become stuck in the water after ignoring road closure signs put up by the county council.
She said: "While the fire service personnel are dealing with flood problems of this nature, they are not available for real emergencies. It is very concerning, frustrating and some of the incidents were totally avoidable.
"I know that this is a busy time for people and they all want to visit relatives and do festive things. But a car full of water means they won't be going anywhere. It's better to find an alternative route and arrive safe and sound.
"With more rain forecast, people need to heed the signs or risk a miserable Christmas. If you can't see the kerbs, don't risk it."
Firefighters were called to Buckford Lane, near Findern, twice on Saturday night. In the first incident, an elderly couple and a child were trapped in their vehicle, which was dragged clear of the flood water. In the second incident, another three people were rescued from their vehicle, which was also stuck.
On the same evening, 22 people were rescued from a single-decker coach which had driven down flooded Leathersley Lane, in Scropton. The vehicle also had to be recovered.
Tamworth Road in Sawley had flood water flowing across it for much of the weekend, which led to a motorist being rescued at 6.20am on Sunday. And later yesterday, a family of four were rescued from a car on the same stretch of road after the water rose to about two feet high.
Police announced yesterday the A515 between Sudbury and Ashbourne was closed because of flood water but, despite this, within an hour passers-by were rescuing people and pulling a car out of the water after it had tried to travel along there.
Flooding also caused disruption to public transport throughout the weekend.
East Midlands Trains suspended its services between Derby and Nottingham and took passengers by bus instead, after the River Erewash burst it banks and flooded parts of Long Eaton.
Problems with flooding in Uttoxeter also led to a bus service running between Derby and Stoke, while the service between Derby and Crewe was also suspended.
The conditions led to more than 20 flood warnings and alerts being put in place over the weekend across many parts of Derbyshire adjacent to the Rivers Amber, Trent, Dove and Derwent.
Towns and villages included in the flood warnings were: Barrow-on-Trent; Barton-under-Needwood; Branston; Castle Donington; Catton; Church Wilne; Clay Mills; Doveridge; Egginton; Great Wilne; Ingleby; Kings Newton; Rolleston; Sawley; Stanton-by-Dale; Swarkestone; Sudbury, Trent Lock and Willington.
But by last night some of them had been lifted in areas around the River Dove.
Low-lying land and roads on the River Amber, at Ambergate; at Bottle Brook, from Denby to Little Eaton; near Foston Brook and Hilton Brook; at Newton Solney; at Rocester and at Rowsley; were subject to flood alerts.
Roads closed because of flooding included Station Road, Rolleston; Sawley Road, in Draycott; the A515 between Sudbury and Ashbourne and Scropton Road, Scropton.
Bus services were also affected by the weather. Trent Barton said, at one stage, it could not serve the stops between Long Eaton train station and the A50.
Flooding problems in Heage Lane, Etwall, which began with heavy rain on Thursday, are still affecting people going to Highfields Happy Hens to collect turkeys for Christmas Day.
Owner Roger Hosking said the farm was still open for business and was hopeful of selling scores of his remaining turkeys before 2pm today.
The Fox and Hounds pub, in Alfreton Road, Coxbench, was still open over the weekend but has had water seeping through its floor for the past three days.
Landlady Melanie Whysall said: "The staff are working hard and the customers are being incredibly understanding – we're persevering with true British spirit."