Albion left with £8k flood bill

editorial image

A football club which hosts Leeds United fixtures is facing a devastating repair bill following severe flooding over the weekend.

Tadcaster Albion need to raise over £8,000 to bring their facilities back into use after the River Wharfe burst its banks last Sunday.

A car stuck in floods at Cock Beck in Stutton. (S)

A car stuck in floods at Cock Beck in Stutton. (S)

The club, which hosts Leeds United under 23s games, has been unable to obtain flood insurance since it was hit by extensive flooding in December 2015 - when the town’s main bridge collapsed.

Albion posted footage online over the weekend showing their pitch and other areas of the ground completely submerged.

Staff are currently pumping water away, undertaking a deep clean and repairing damaged equipment. The floodlights, tractor and lawn mowers have all suffered damage.

They have launched a Justgiving appeal with a target of £8,500 and public donations have already been coming in.

A statement by the club read: “Tadcaster Albion Football Club on Sunday 17 March was hit again by terrible flooding from the River Wharfe.

“Unfortunately following the devastating floods in 2015 the club is no longer able to obtain flood insurance.

“We are now in the process of pumping away the water, undertaking a huge deep clean of the facilities and repairing the damaged fixtures.

“We also need to repair the tractor, lawn mowers and many other pieces of equipment used for pitch maintenance; which were all damaged from being under water. The pitch itself also needs maintenance work and preparing for future fixtures.”

Wetherby Ings. Picture by John Skewes.

Wetherby Ings. Picture by John Skewes.

The flooding has brought back memories of the Christmas 2015 floods with residents watching rising river levels.

Tadcaster Bridge suffered partial collapse and was not reopened until 2017, after extensive repairs.

On Tuesday North Yorkshire Council sent a team to remove debris that had built up around the arches of the bridge Tadcaster Bridge due to high river levels from the weekend’s heavy rain.

Officials said that the bridge had coped well with the flood water but the council’s bridges team used an excavator to push debris under the arches or removed it from the water.

Debris at Tadcaster Bridge.

Debris at Tadcaster Bridge.

“The bridge has done exactly what it was designed to do when it was rebuilt following the winter floods of 2015/16,” said Coun Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Highways.

“Obviously people have been concerned with the river levels so high and with the build-up of debris, but the bridge has stood up well to the pressure of water.”

As a precaution the county council planned to employ diving teams to check structures below the water level.

“We are not expecting any problems,” added Coun Mackenzie, “but in cases of heavy flooding we often employ diving teams to check bridge structures as an extra safety measure.”

North Yorkshire’s roads affected by flooding over the weekend were reported mostly mostly open on Tuesday after being swept for debris.

Stutton’s Cock Beck flooded, causing the closure of Mill Lane and disruption around the woods and neighbouring fields.

Floods at Stutton.

Floods at Stutton.

Resident Chris Morris said: “Some optimistic road users were caught out and one pensioner had to be rescued by the Fire Brigade from Tadcaster, who also managed to save a hedgehog who was swimming frantically in the flood water.”

Wetherby Sports Association declared all matches cancelled on Saturday as the River Wharfe burst its banks and flooded the playing fields.

Floodwaters also left a car stranded in the car park.