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VIDEO: Dales rescuers help flood victims

VIDEO: Dales rescuers help flood victims

Published at 6:05pm 10th December 2015. (Updated at 6:13pm 10th December 2015)

A team from the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association has returned to Grassington after helping people affected by the devastating floods in Cumbria.

Volunteers joined other mountain rescue teams, firefighters and lifeboat crews to evacuate homes in Carlisle, which was one of the worst-hit areas.

Team member Derek Hammond said: "We were tasked with checking on specific properties where there was concern for the residents, checking with others still in their homes that they were OK and, if not, evacuating them to safety.

"At the control point, there was a small crowd, ITN film crew and plenty of lights, but as we progressed into the flooded areas, all power was off and the only lights were from our torches or the candles in the few houses that were still occupied. Wading through chest-deep floodwater in the dark with just the tops of cars showing and the tweet of flooded house alarms was quite surreal.

"Our first evacuees were a family of four. Having moved the teenage daughters onto our raft and on their way to safety, we waded round the flooded ground floor of the house looking for their personal possessions and prescription medicines that had been left downstairs the night before and were now unreachable to the family.

"Having rescued what we could and returned them to their owners, we moved Mum and Dad onto the raft and off to safety. A couple of members stayed back to calm a neighbour who was desperate for rescue, but needed a ladder to get to her.

"Later on, we had our second family to evacuate, though they were more complicated, covering four generations, and included an 81-year-old great-grandmother, her 9-month-old and 2-year-old great-granddaughters, the girls' father and heavily pregnant mum, as well as their two dogs. As our raft is not that big, we were assisted by our North Yorkshire neighbours Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team.

"Having completed the tasks in our area, the teams were stood down and, having checked that we were not needed elsewhere, we headed back to Grassington, getting home just after midnight."