Living in limbo after the floods

Ian Davis, who has been living in a hotel since the floods at his old home, 61 Elphaborough Close, Mytholmroyd.
Ian Davis, who has been living in a hotel since the floods at his old home, 61 Elphaborough Close, Mytholmroyd.

A flood victim was forced to live in a hotel for eight weeks after his property was left ravaged by the unprecedented rainfall which battered the borough two months ago.

It’s hard to forget the now iconic images of Mytholmroyd submerged under water after the river broke its banks.

Residents’ lives were turned upside down as they battled with the elements and attempted to come to terms with the some of the worst flooding in living memory.

Elphaborough Close was just one of the areas badly affected and resident Ian Davis, 38, had to escape as water began to pour in.

He said: “I was woken up by the sound of the flood warning sirens and as Elphaborough has never really flooded before, I wasn’t too worried.

“But then the water started getting closer and closer, I was trying to barricade the doors, but it was pretty futile.

“I heard gurgling noises in the kitchen. The water was coming up out of the floor and lifting the carpets. I got a bit scared of what would happen, so I just chucked some clothes into a suitcase and climbed out of a window.”

He lived in the house with an elderly relative, who was away for Christmas at the time. “I waited for water to go and my upstairs neighbour took me in for a couple nights,” he said. I had to chuck everything out.”

Although Mr Davis, who works at Northern Bee Books and Peacock Press, Mytholmroyd, was shown alternative accommodation, he says the few offered by housing company Places for People were unsuitable.

He was then housed in the Imperial Hotel, Halifax, where he stayed for eight weeks, until he was able to find suitable accommodation. He has now found a new, private let flat, and is preparing to move on after the devastation.

He said: “As I’ve been living in a hotel , I couldn’t buy anything as there was nowhere to put anything. I’ve been in limbo, it’s like starting from scratch.”

Despite his ordeal, Mr Davis said the Mytholmroyd flood hub, based at Elphaborough had been a massive help and had put items aside for him for his new accommodation.

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