Woman tells LBC of year of 'hell' after her home was ravaged by South Yorkshire flood

6 November 2020, 10:00 | Updated: 6 November 2020, 10:08

By Victoria Smith

A woman whose home was ravaged by flooding in South Yorkshire has told LBC of her year of hell after she was forced from her house, leaving her family 'broken.'

As England enters its second national lockdown, this weekend marks one year since devastating flooding hit South Yorkshire.

Lorna, who asked to give only her first name, said the stress and dealing with the insurance company got to the point that on August bank holiday weekend, her partner tried to take her own life.

Lorna said that the family are “broken” and that they are a “family of four but we're not really a family, there's one of us living in a caravan, one child has moved out because she can't deal with it".

Lorna and her family live in Bentley, their house was one of the hundreds affected by devastating flooding in South Yorkshire when the River Don burst its banks in 2019.

The heavy rainfall started on the 7th November, houses and businesses were soon inundated by floodwater and residents were forced to leave their homes.

For the last 12 months the downstairs of the house has been uninhabitable, with Lorna and her partner staying in a caravan outside.

The downstairs of their home is still a building site with concrete floors, no kitchen and no plaster.

Flooding devastated South Yorkshire last year
Flooding devastated South Yorkshire last year. Picture: LBC

Lorna described the battle with the insurance company as "hell on earth" and claims the stress has severely affected her partner's mental health.

Lorna said: "She does have underlying issues but she previously had a very good two and a half years. But then we were flooded".

Lorna described how her partner’s suicide attempt "still has a knock on now, she still can't be left alone. It's not a case of…everything is going to go back to normal tomorrow, it doesn't work like that".

Lorna is classed as extremely vulnerable because of her lung condition and told LBC how when the pandemic hit she started living in the caravan by herself.

She described spending those months cooking meals for her family in the tiny caravan, posting them through the window and being passed dirty plates back.

Lorna's home was devastated by the flooding
Lorna's home was devastated by the flooding. Picture: LBC

As we are now in another national coronavirus lockdown in England, Lorna says the work has only just started on the house after the “fight” with the insurers. Lorna said that "The pandemic hasn't helped but we should have been and done before the pandemic even came into it.”

She added: “If we had a downstairs in our house it would have been a lot easier, because we would have been able to interact."

She told LBC all their children have asked for Christmas this year is a home-cooked Christmas Dinner in their house.

"The one thing this year has shown me is that you don't need big things... we just want our normal back. Where I am complaining that the kids are leaving their shoes in the middle of the living room floor or there is mucky washing on the bathroom floor. We just want normal."

If you're struggling you can contact the Samaritans on 116 123 or email jo@samaritans.org.uk.