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Ravensworth man uses JCB to save houses from flooding
A QUICK-THINKING nursery owner has told how he saved his neighbours’ homes from being flooded in the country’s wettest village.
Jonathan Bradbrook leapt into action on Monday night after a torrent of water began flowing down the road into Ravensworth, near Richmond , North Yorkshire.
The 46-year-old, a partner in Ravensworth Nurseries, ran to get his JCB digger and used it to create a 10ftwide ditch in the verge and hedge.
The foot of water which had been flowing down Waitlands Lane then diverted onto his land, flooding his field and some of his company’s greenhouses – but protecting six homes further down the road.
Ravensworth has been deluged with 5.2 inches of rain (131 mm) since Sunday – the highest rainfall in the country. The village’s average monthly rainfall is only 1.8 inches (46.8 mm).
Mr Bradbrook said: “We could see water was coming down the road like a river.
“I got the JCB and pushed the verge away and created a hole in the fence, and the water flowed there instead.
“If I hadn’t, the six homes would have been flooded.”
Mr Bradbrook then drove down towards the village and made another hole in a fence to drain off water which was threatening several more homes.
Derek Parker, whose home was potentially saved by the work, said: “The water didn’t get into the house, but it was virtually lapping at the walls.
“We were very lucky Jonathan was there.”
Mr Bradbrook returned with his digger yesterday to clear roadside gullies in a bid to prevent further flooding.
He criticised the county council for failing to keep the gullies clear, adding: “We think the gully has only been dug out once in 20 years.
“Previously, they would have teams of men that would come and dig it out by hand.”
In nearby Gilling West, where dozens of homes were flooded, villagers have suggested that improvements to the A66 have added to the problem of flooding, with concerns that insufficient balancing pools have been created.
North Yorkshire county councillor Michael Heseltine said: “These issues have to be looked at in all villages which are at risk of flooding.
“This has shown that there is still much to be done, although the downpours have been exceptional.
Unfortunately, there is no magic wand to sort it out.”