October 21, 2023
In the wake of Storm Babet’s fury, the picturesque town of Yarm finds itself battling the aftermath of heavy rains as the River Tees burst its banks. Images captured behind the High Street, near Sainsbury’s supermarket, depict water levels creeping perilously close to riverside benches. Responding swiftly to the crisis, authorities locked floodgates around the High Street, ensuring the safety of the residents in the vicinity.
A flood alert has been issued for Riverside footpaths in Yarm, urging locals to be prepared by assembling essential items like medicines and insurance documents while remaining vigilant about flood warnings. Despite elevated river levels, there is a glimmer of relief as no major flooding of properties is anticipated. The weather forecast for Saturday promises a dry day, offering a respite for the waterlogged town.
In light of the situation, the government has cautioned against using low-lying footpaths and bridges near local watercourses in Yarm. Pedestrians and motorists have been sternly warned against attempting to navigate through floodwaters to prevent potential disasters. The closure of the town’s floodgates will persist, with authorities scheduled to provide an update on the situation by 4 pm on Saturday, ensuring that the safety of Yarm’s residents remains paramount.
Storm Babet, which unleashed winds reaching speeds of up to 51mph, accompanied by torrential rainfall and colossal waves, wreaked havoc across Teesside. Numerous businesses and roads were forced to shut down, leaving some residents stranded in the worst-affected areas. In Yarm, the adverse weather conditions compelled the cancellation of the second day of the annual Yarm Fair, organized by the Showmen’s Guild. The decision was made in the interest of public safety, disappointing eager thrill-seekers. However, fortune smiled on the town on Saturday, allowing the fair to resume its final day, bringing much-needed cheer to the community.
The flood alert also extends to low-lying areas in the Lower Tees Valley, spanning from Middleton St George to the Tees Barrage, encompassing Lustrum Beck and Greatham Beck. Additionally, coastal streams in Redcar and Cleveland, such as Skelton Beck and Skinningrove Beck, are under a similar alert level, emphasizing the need for caution in these regions.
Yarm residents are urged to stay vigilant, follow official instructions, and prioritize safety during this challenging period. The collective resilience of the community shines through, even in the face of nature’s relentless onslaught, as the town continues to navigate through the challenges posed by Storm Babet.