Victims of flooding being urged to ask for help
PUBLISHED: 10:28 04 January 2014 | UPDATED: 10:28 04 January 2014
Flooding has caused misery all along the coast, including at Walcott, Lowestoft and Hemsby.
All victims of last month’s devastating tidal surge have been urged to come forward to claim support from the EDP’s flood appeal, as the first awards begin helping families and businesses rebuild their lives.
Generous readers have already donated more than £150,000 to the EDP Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal in the month since the flood swept through our coastal communities.
Now appeal organisers are calling for everyone who suffered to make sure they get the support that people from across the region and beyond have put their way.
Graham Tuttle, chief executive of the Norfolk Community Foundation, said: “We are really pleased now to see the money be awarded to those most needy individuals. It is always reassuring to the people who have donated that their money is being spent wisely and supporting the people it is for.
“As the new year starts, it is great to see people’s lives improving and hopefully getting back to some kind of normality.”
Three councils – North Norfolk, Great Yarmouth and Waveney – are already busy assessing individual applications for help from the fund, and tailoring their support to the specific needs of their communities.
Stephen Baker, chief executive of Waveney District Council, said about 120 homes and businesses were affected in Lowestoft, and £12,500 had already been given to those in need.
He said households mostly needed fridges and freezers, electrical items and clothes, while businesses were receiving help for redecorating costs over and above what insurance would pay for, as well as clear-up costs.
While some national firms had the capacity to rebuild quickly, local businesses needed more help with lost stock, damaged carpets and advice on how to move on.
He said: “We don’t want people to feel embarrassed. The money is there to help them, and we are there to help them get it.”
Jane Beck, director of customer services at Great Yarmouth Borough Council, said 17 homes and eight businesses in Hemsby and the town suffered damage ranging from minor to severe, while a number of other properties in Hemsby could need further help in the future.
She said appeal money was being used to help people with their insurance excess.
She added: “The response to the appeal has been magnificent, probably far beyond what we expected, which is why it’s so important for us to help people, and for them to come forward.”
Sheila Oxtoby, chief executive of North Norfolk District Council, said her authority had promoted the fund through a leaflet drop and would hold drop-in sessions in Walcott. It has already sent out eight application forms and received five back. She added: “We are concerned that people who do need help are not coming forward. We would urge them to make contact with us.”
Mr Tuttle urged people to keep giving to the appeal, if they can. He added that anyone who wanted more information about the appeal could call the foundation on 01603 623958. The three councils and foundation said that they are happy to help anyone to complete their application form.
With severe weather warnings for rain and flooding in place for south-west England, the Environment Agency yesterday warned that flooding was also possible for the north Norfolk coast from Old Hunstanton to Weybourne. The agency warned that the shingle ridge at Salthouse had been damaged in recent tides, leading to more water coming on to the road at Salthouse.
The warning, for the high tide which was due at 7.10pm yesterday, added: “This situation should continue for the next few days.” For more on the floods nationally, see page 10.
Were you affected by the flood? How are you coping one month on?
Write (giving your full contact details) to: The Letters Editor, EDP, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPLetters@archant.co.uk