THREE heroes credited with saving a town from flooding have been nominated for an award by their community – despite claims they put lives at risk.
Astonishing footage shows one of trio waist-deep in raging water as he hauls debris by hand from a drain. Another of the team is operating a digger which is also partially submerged by water.
The incident happened on July 31 as heavy rain threatened to flood the Cheshire town of Poynton.
Katherine Wainwright, 32, husband Adam Wainwright, 36, and friend Lloyd Keeper, 39, have been feted by locals for working through the night to help to save the community from devastation.
But a local councillor accused the trio of putting their own lives, and others’, at risk. And several online viewers of the clip pointed out the serious risk they took, including one who claimed it was “foolhardy”.
Katherine posted a video on Facebook showing Adam and Lloyd clearing debris which had blocked a culvert preventing water to flow freely out of the town.
She posted: “Anyone else still flooded in Poynton? Making our way round to anyone that needs any help. Main culvert out of Poynton has been unblocked by Adam and Lloyd. We have a pump with us for any houses still flooded.”
The video shows Adam and Lloyd tackling a large amount of debris which included wheelie bins and planks of wood.
Lloyd is waist deep in water whilst Adam is using a digger to clear the rubbish.
To their right an overflowing river can be seen speeding down it’s banks at alarming knots.
Debbie Broadbent wrote online: “You guys are amazing! Fantastic community spirit and deserve some recognition for this.”
Laura Hodgson wrote: “This is probably what saved my mum’s bungalow from flooding. Cheers guys.”
Richard Downes said: “Well done indeed guys. You are the sort of people that should get MBEs.”
Will Bell added: “Fantastic job Kat and Adam and others. Puts Cheshire East to shame.”
One person sent a message sating: “I just wanted to let you know I’ve nominated you for the Pride of Britain awards for what you guys did.”
But Poynton Town Council were furious at the implication local officials had done too little to save the town.
A Facebook response from Poynton Town Council stated: “To blame Cheshire East Council for the flooding in Poynton due to the non-clearance of drains is like blaming someone for not bailing out the Titanic using a teacup.
“No drainage system would have coped with the volume of water and the speed of which the water levels rose on Wednesday.”
Few in the comments have also stated it is dangerous work.
Simon Clifford said: “That looks dangerous to me.”
Irene Gibbons added: “Brave maybe a bit foolhardy without a safety rope around him.”
Sam Bagnall wrote: “That looks so dangerous please be careful.”
Jill Alexander said: “Does look dangerous. Take care.”
Bookkeeper Katherine today said: “I have to admit it was a knock, we weren’t expecting praise for it, but we also weren’t expecting a telling off.
“When Adam phoned the next day to ask if they needed any more help before he went to work he received a bad response from one Councillor. Who told him he had risked their lives, the communities and the emergency services.
“I was shocked and upset. We understand how it looked quite dangerous, but we would never do anything that would put anyone at risk. We just wanted to help.”
Cheshire East Council deemed it inappropriate to comment when asked about whether Katherine, Adam, and Lloyd’s actions were endangering the lives of other people.
They also declined to comment on the Councillor’s comments as they could not identify the Councillor in question.
However, the Council did state they are committed in keeping their residents safe, and have launched an investigation into the flooding incidents.
A spokeswoman for Cheshire East Council, said: “As lead local flood authority, the council has initiated a multi-agency investigation into last week’s flooding incidents in the north of the borough, including in Poynton, Bollington, Adlington, Rainow and Wilmslow.
“Cheshire East Council is committed to keeping residents safe and continues to provide ongoing support to residents and businesses affected.
“As part of this, a multi-agency drop-in session has been arranged to take place next Thursday 15 August from 1-7pm at Poynton Civic Hall, to talk to residents about flood resilience, as well as to provide further information about the ongoing recovery efforts.
“At Poynton Town Council’s request, Cheshire East Council has also delivered 250 sandbags to Poynton Civic Hall and supplemented these with loose sand and empty sandbags.
“The council’s own supply of sandbags has been replenished and the authority is ready to distribute these where requested.”
Cheshire East Council also state they have made improvements and repairs to areas hit by severe flooding in 2016
“The multi-agency response to the 2016 flooding has involved engagement with local ward members, villagers and landowners in an ongoing dialogue, with meetings held to discuss a way forward – the last one being in May of this year.
“As part of the council’s role, it has carried out channel and culvert clearance work and drainage investigations.”