Slow insurance settlements leave Catcliffe householders struggling to get home, says councillor

Flashback: Wrecked cars in Catcliffe last OctoberFlashback: Wrecked cars in Catcliffe last October
Flashback: Wrecked cars in Catcliffe last October
AS THE six months anniversary of the devastating Catcliffe floods approaches, slow insurance processing has been blamed for many of those affected being unable to return to their homes.

There is also no information available on when a report on the failures which allowed a large part of the village to be submerged by floodwater will be published.

Rotherham Council promised that document would be compiled and have said it will be published when it becomes available, but have offered no timescale for when that might happen.

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California Drive was at the heart of the flooded area when defences failed following torrential rain in late October.

Many homes were left deep under water and after levels subsided, the monumental task of making homes habitable again began.

Among those flooded was Gary Marsh, vice chairman of Catcliffe Parish Council, who is still living on the first floor of his house on California Drive.

He blamed inertia across the insurance industry as the reason so many people were still waiting for their lives to return to normal.

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“The only ones back are the ones who don’t have insurance and have sorted themselves out,” he said.

“When you are going through the processes with insurers, you are in a big queue,” he said.

His house had been stripped of plasterwork and internal fittings as high as the water level soon after the flooding and it had since been confirmed as dry, but with little progress since.

Neighbours were facing similar delays, he said: “We are just waiting for things to start happening. We are now more than five months on and it is frustrating.

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“I am living upstairs in my house and it is limited to what I can do. I have a microwave, toaster and air fryer. Living in two rooms is a lot more difficult than living in two rooms,” he said.

Gary was among those hit by flooding in 2007 and work to restore his home was done more quickly in that era, after the house had been issued with a ‘dry certificate’ allowing contractors to move in.

At the time of the flooding, Rotherham Council leader Chris Read acknowledge a “proper review” was needed into what had happened.

Council officials expect the findings to be published “in due course”.

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