Spa owner’s tears after home and business destroyed by floods

A woman whose home and business have been destroyed by floods in South Yorkshire has described how she has lost everything she has worked for after her insurance did not cover flooding.

Pam Webb, owner of Truffle Lodge luxury spa in Fishlake, near Doncaster, broke down in tears as she said she discovered on Monday morning that her insurance provider had excluded flooding from her policy – despite last week’s floods being the first the village has experienced in 100 years.

Ms Webb said she wanted answers about what caused the flooding that resulted in around 350 residents leaving their homes after they were inundated by water.

She said: “When the flood came in as fast as it did on Friday, I remained at Truffle Lodge until 11 o’clock on Saturday morning, lost power and realised it was sensible that I had to leave.

“It is under water, totally can’t operate at the moment and I don’t know for how long.”

Ms Webb sobbed as she said she did not expect to find out she was not covered for the damage.

She said: “My insurance company have excluded flood from my policy.

“I feel really selfish in saying this and I hope that other people aren’t in this boat but I’ve lost my home and my business and my livelihood that I’ve worked so hard for.

“And the girls who worked for me, or worked with me, it’s their livelihoods as well. And a lot of them are only young. Some of them have got young families and I’ve tried to look after them the best I can.”

Fishlake in South Yorkshire
Fishlake in South Yorkshire

Ms Webb said she wanted to know if flood defences put in place to protect larger towns and cities, such as Sheffield, had resulted in flooding further along the River Don.

She said: “Fishlake has never flooded in 100 years so my, if you want to say, anger is… why has it now flooded? You know, it’s happened so we need to now establish why and how and who should be accountable.

“Is it the flood defences that weren’t sufficient to hold it? Did something give at some other point?

“I’m not taking anything away from Sheffield, that’s great work was done there, but has it exacerbated the problem down here and we’ve now got a bigger problem here because of what happened there?”

Ms Webb said that, since the flooding, she had used her “energies and resources” to appeal for staff from Doncaster Council and the Environment Agency to visit the village and begin pumping out the floodwater.