Firm’s anger at repeated flooding

Kenneth Howley Transport are angry at Yorkshire Water, after they have been flooded out this week for the fifth time in two years, due to a pumping station failure.'Maxine Hepworth and Elaine Crompton
Kenneth Howley Transport are angry at Yorkshire Water, after they have been flooded out this week for the fifth time in two years, due to a pumping station failure.'Maxine Hepworth and Elaine Crompton
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A Castleford haulage firm is calling for Yorkshire Water to take action after it was flooded for the fifth time in two years.

Kenneth Howley Transport at Green Lane was left under two feet of foul sewage water in last Wednesday’s torrential downpour and say it’s the latest incident in a long-running problem with a Yorkshire Water pumping station.

Maxine Hepworth, the firm’s logistics administrator, said: “There was about 100sqm under water on Wednesday.

“We’ve just taken on a new customer and had two agency drivers and three of our own walk off site because of the flooding, as they couldn’t get the lorries out. Two of our staff couldn’t get their vehicles out and had to take taxis. It cost us about £2,000 alone that morning.

“It’s been like this for the 15 years we’ve been here. We were paid out £17,000 for the last flood, in November, which didn’t cover all the damage.

“We only had new offices put in about five weeks ago. We had only just redecorated all our offices and had new doors and flooring put in a couple of weeks ago to repair the damage from last time, and it’s all absolutely trashed. It’s all covered in sewage water.”

The company estimates the repeated flood damage has cost it around £90,000 and wants Yorkshire Water to take action to repair the pumping station, which it says pumps out water instead of sucking it in when there is too much rain.

Mrs Hepworth added: “We keep getting told it’s a pumping station failure. Yorkshire Water has told us it doesn’t have the budget to repair it, as there’s sewage pipe up the road which needs repairing and takes priority.

“We understand that, as it affects homes, and the sewage water floods us too, but nothing has been done about this pumping station for 15 years.”

As well as damage to the firm’s offices and vehicles, the flooding has prevented it sending out orders, which it says damages its reputation.

The firm has considered moving due to the ongoing flooding problem.

Mrs Hepworth said: “We are looking for other premises at the moment, but it’s not just a case of moving quickly, we have to find the right location and right size warehouse.”

A Yorkshire Water spokeswoman said: “We are working closely with Kenneth Howley Transport and surrounding businesses in order to reach a solution to this problem.

“We take their complaints very seriously and are committed to reaching an outcome which addresses their concerns.”