Derbyshire council leader praises residents’ community spirit after Storm Babet

Derbyshire’s county council leader has today praised residents across the county for their resilience and community-spirit after Storm Babet ravaged the region.
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Parts of the county were deluged with unprecedented amounts of rainfall which caused many rivers, streams and canals to burst their banks with many homes and businesses affected by the flooding of roads and properties.

Derbyshire was placed under an amber weather warning for rain from Friday, October 20, until 6am, Saturday, October 21.

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Cllr Barry Lewis, Leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: “I know this is a very difficult time for residents and businesses who have been affected by flooding and my heart goes out to them.

The community has rallied round after the devastation caused by Storm Babet. Image: Derbyshire TimesThe community has rallied round after the devastation caused by Storm Babet. Image: Derbyshire Times
The community has rallied round after the devastation caused by Storm Babet. Image: Derbyshire Times

“I’d also like to extend my thanks to our communities who are all pulling together to help each other during and in the aftermath of the flooding. I’d like to personally thank everyone who has been involved.

“There are still plenty of road closures in place, including on many key routes through Derbyshire, and I’d urge people not to travel unless absolutely necessary. Where flooding has subsided we’ve got teams out across the county working hard to try to clear roads of debris.

“However, a lot of roads have been affected and this is taking some time so I’d ask people to bear with us and please heed closed signs until we’ve had time to make sure roads are safe to travel on.”

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Several schools across the county were closed or closed early on Friday, October 20, and parents were warned to wait for a communication from headteachers in instances when any of the schools were planning to close.

Councillor Barry Lewis.  Image: Derbyshire County Council.Councillor Barry Lewis.  Image: Derbyshire County Council.
Councillor Barry Lewis. Image: Derbyshire County Council.

Waves created by vehicles in flooded areas caused more issues for homes and businesses, so motorists were urged not to drive unless it was essential.

While the clean-up began in some communities by Saturday, October 21, river levels in the south of the county at that time had yet to peak and people were being urged to take action to protect themselves and their properties.

As flood water began to recede in places, hazards remained on the roads with water run-off, standing water, large puddles, debris and gravel and plans are expected to get underway to inspect routes to clear any debris and to check they are safe.

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Chesterfield Borough Council has been working with Derbyshire County Council and the emergency services to respond to emerging issues and support local communities.

Those forced to evacuate their homes were encouraged to stay with family or friends but an emergency rest centre was set up at Queen’s Park Sports Centre, on Boythorpe Road, for those who had been forced to leave their properties.

Cllr Lewis, Derbyshire County Council Leader, added: “I’d also like to thank our own staff and those from our neighbouring authorities, emergency services and volunteers for helping to deal with these very difficult conditions.

“In recent times Derbyshire has faced many, many challenges in relation to the weather and I am always humbled by the resilience of our residents who have a real capacity to bounce back from adversity.”