The 2007 summer floods wreaked havoc for Hull and East Riding with flooding encountered on both the 15th and 25th June.
Fire crews received over 1,500 calls in a 12-hour period, dozens of homes were evacuated and the next day only 12 of Hull's 88 schools were still open, affecting 30,000 out of 38,000 Hull schoolchildren.
By early September, figures released by Hull City Council had been revised upwards to 7,800 houses that had been flooded plus 1,300 businesses that were affected.
Houlton teams were extremely busy during this period providing support to the local councils and businesses filling and distributing sandbags for prevention; carrying out initial repairs removing water damaged items and then later undertaking drying out works and full reinstatement.
Flood damage repairs totaling nearly £6 million were carried out by Houlton in this period to various properties including:
Anlaby Acre Heads Primary School
Burton Pidsea Primary School
Castle Hill Hospital Occupational Health
Cottingham Croxby Primary School
Ganton Special School
Hedon Inmans Primary School
Hessle High School
Humberside Police Priory Police Station
Kirk Ella St Andrew's Primary School
Sydney Smith School
The Mercure Hull Royal Hotel
Trinity House Rest Homes
Willerby Carr Lane Infants School
Various Domestic Properties in the Area
The summer floods made the low lying Sydney Smith School in Hull completely uninhabitable and the buildings were so badly damaged by the flood waters that everyone including central government was fearful that the restoration work could not be completed before the pupils returned from their summer holiday. The school received national media attention and the then deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, visited the school on several occasions to inspect the scale of the damage and keep an eye on the progress being made.
To much surprise and delight, all the ‘high priority’ curriculum blocks were cleaned, dried and reinstated in time for the start of the new school term. In fact, Sydney Smith School was one of the only large schools to open in time.
It was a large school with over 1,600 pupils and 15 buildings spread over 40 acres of land. Each classroom block contained nine classrooms, bathrooms and common areas – all of which were badly damaged by the floods and needed stripping out, drying and reinstating. The school's swimming pool was also flooded!
We concentrated on those blocks identified as high priority because of their curriculum value. These included science labs, home technology, design and technology, art and IT blocks and the special education needs building.
The main assembly hall was also repaired so it could be used as a dining area where pupils could eat. Once each block was certified dry we then began the major reinstatement works.