Battle goes on to help victims of the floods

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Many residents are still out of their homes, nearly 10 months on from the devastating floods of last winter.

Calderdale Council has said it is “actively targeting” around 200 homes which are still unoccupied after the unprecedented Boxing Day deluge.

Mytholmroyd centre under water after the River Calder burst its banks.

Mytholmroyd centre under water after the River Calder burst its banks.

One of those people affected was Jean Fernley, 78, who lives at Elphaborough Close, Mytholmroyd. The sheltered accommodation was badly hit by the floods and Jean, along with many others, had to move out.

She said: “The flooding was horrendous. I was quite fortunate in being upstairs in that the water was only in the porch and on the stairs, but other people had it much worse. I had no gas or electricity either so I had to move out.”

Despite suffering a heart attack, Jean was soon back on her feet and helping other residents at Yew Tree Court, Walsden. And she recently moved back in to a newly-refurbished home.

Jean said: “Now I’m in my new home, it feels wonderful. The workmen have done a fantastic job - it seemed to take a while to get going because there was so much damage from the water, but they are working like the clappers now and I know people are starting to move back in and hopefully it will be back to normal soon.”

Jean, along with other residents Irene and Bob Ogden and June Cowan, were all recognised at an awards ceremony organised by Places for People, which manages Elphaborough Close.

As well as helping to cover the flood hub, they have helped and supported those who have been flooded through a home-made soup run and bingo sessions. They are also planning a residents’ Christmas party.

“It was a difficult time because our friends and neighbours had to move out, We wanted help keep that sense of community spirit,” Jean said.

It’s hoped all residents will be back in Elphaborough Close by December.

Calderdale Council’s leader Tim Swift said: “The council, our organisations and volunteers have worked tirelessly to help our towns and villages get back on their feet and become more resilient to any future flooding.”

Coun Swift added that many affected homes are still drying out and residents have moved into temporary rented accommodation, have found a new home, or are living with friends and family.