Thank you to community heroes as flood recovery work continues

Worst flooding for years results in huge show of community spirit

The leaders of Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils have hailed the huge community response after the area suffered its worst flooding for many years.

While emergency services, council staff and councillors have been supporting those in the flood-hit areas, communities have pulled together in a fantastic show of spirit.

Cllr Andy Mellen, Mid Suffolk District Council leader, said:

“These are the worst floods we have seen in our district for many years, and they have been a distressing experience for many of our residents and businesses.

“But we’ve also seen the best of our communities. People have helped each other, we saw farmers using tractors to help schoolchildren and stranded motorists in Debenham and many other places, the local leisure centre staff provided an overnight rest centre for those forced from their homes. 

“Teachers and school staff ensured the safety of children when the flooding hit on Friday afternoon and roads became impassable. There are many more examples.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone, plus to our emergency services, council teams, fellow councillors and town and parish councils for being there for our communities. We will continue to support them for during the clean up.”

Cllr John Ward, Babergh District Council acting leader, said:

“The spirit shown by our communities in response to these floods has been magnificent. 

“In those areas hardest hit, people rallied day and night – for example, there was a rapid local response in Long Melford on Friday night when Chad Brook burst its banks.

“There have been many other examples of community spirit and kindness, and I would like to thank all those people who volunteered to help out during the crisis. I also want to say thank you to our emergency services, council staff, councillors and town and parish councils for working tirelessly throughout the weekend.”

Farmers played a crucial role in the weekend's heroics. They rescued schoolchildren, supported evacuations and helped stranded motorists, particularly in and around Debenham. Community coordinated rescues were also supported by Debenham Young Farmers Club.

A huge clean up is now under way, and the district councils will continue to work with residents, businesses and communities during this recovery period. 

The councils will continue to have additional staff in the worst affected areas assisting with the clean-up. Bin collections will continue as normal this week, and the small number of bins which weren’t collected on Friday due to the floods will be emptied on Monday.

For more information about dealing with the aftermath of a flood, visit our advice page on the Babergh or Mid Suffolk websites.

Picture: A tractor helps ferry children through floodwater in Debenham on Friday afternoon. Picture: Phil Mason

A tractor ferrying school pupils through floodwater in Debenham on Friday afternoon. Credit: Phil Mason