A WATER company has apologised after admitting that a couple’s home was flooded for the sixth time in five weeks because a pump generator was not refuelled.

Butcher Nikki Hinds and his wife, Karon, were devastated when sewage poured into their newly-restored home in Castlegate, Malton, last weekend after pumps failed.

Yorkshire Water initially claimed thieves had stolen fuel from the pumps and police launched an investigation into reports that up to 2,000 litres of diesel had been taken.

Patrols were stepped up in the area and detectives checked hours of CCTV footage before concluding no theft had occurred.

After police closed the investigation, a Yorkshire Water spokesman admitted the pumps’ failure had been caused by an oversight by contractors.

He said: “Contrary to our earlier belief that fuel had been stolen from our generator, we can now confirm that the generator was not refuelled. On this occasion we did not meet our high standards of operational performance.”

He said both pumps were now working and apologised to the Hinds, saying the firm was treating their situation seriously.

Meanwhile, residents in Acaster Malbis near York have been mopping up floodwater and silt from their riverside homes after being inundated once again by floodwaters from the River Ouse.

Valerie Brown, who has lived in the village for 50 years, said: “We were flooded at the end of October, at the end of November, on Christmas Eve it threatened – it came right on to the doorstep – and then again at New Year. It’s been a different New Year. I can’t recommend it.

“We hadn’t got the house right again since the end of November because we were going to have the walls replastered. We haven’t got that done.

“The ironic thing is we ordered floodgates. If we’d had them last night we’d have been fine.”

Tourists staying on a caravan site in nearby Naburn said they were marooned, unable to get on or off the site, after knee-high water engulfed roads through the village.

One said: “We can’t move. I was meant to be back at work today, but we can’t go anywhere.”

In York, the Foss Barrier and pumping station, which prevents the Ouse backing up the River Foss and flooding thousands of properties near the river and also Tang Hall and Osbaldwick Becks, was in operation yesterday for the 13th consecutive day – five days short of the record 18 days set during November 2000.

River levels are expected to remain high in coming days, but weathermen have held out hope that the situation may ease in coming days as high pressure builds in the south, leading to largely dry weather.