Sleaford firefighters rush to aid flood-stricken York

The historic Tadcaster Bridge which has partially collapsed.'Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross EMN-151230-170655001
The historic Tadcaster Bridge which has partially collapsed.'Picture: Anthony Chappel-Ross EMN-151230-170655001

A team from Sleaford fire station is one of three water rescue crews from Lincolnshire who have arrived in North Yorkshire today (Wednesday) to help with the flood relief effort.

Twelve specially trained firefighters from Gainsborough and Sleaford stations have joined six firefighters from Spalding already in York, taking extra boats and rescue equipment.

Group Manager Tim Joyce, who is at the county’s central command centre, said: “We’ve had a crew from Spalding in the York and Leeds areas since Boxing Day, rescuing people and animals from their homes and taking them to safety. For example, we’ve rescued a number of people and their pets from narrow boats in Leeds City Centre, as well as helping to keep vulnerable people safe in York.

“We’ve now got three specialist boat crews in the York area, helping communities affected by flooding – in fact, two crews – Spalding and Sleaford – have just been sent to the Tadcaster Bridge area to help protect the infrastructure which has been affected by flooding.”

There were dramatic scenes last night as the community watched in horror as the centuries-old tadcaster Bridge collapsed under the weight of the flood waters, exposing gas pipes and prompting fears of an explosion. Nearby homes were evacuated but residents have since been allowed back.

Mr Joyce said: “The rain continues to come down, and significant rainfall is expected later today in North Yorkshire and Scotland, so we will continue to work alongside crews from across the country to help keep communities protected.”

On the work in the command centre, Mr Joyce adds: “Here in the command centre, we are helping to balance Lincolnshire’s needs with those of the country - we provide as much assistance as we can, whilst working to keep the community of Lincolnshire safe.”

View the moment the Tadcaster Bridge collapsed here.