Thursday, September 27, 2012

Challenging few days

Tuesday morning, we woke up to be surrounded by water.  We have been here 7 years and not had even a large puddle.  We have 2 large ponds at the back of the house that usually take any excess water.  So it was a bit of a surprise. By the end of the day it had started to go down, but they were forecasting rain over night, so we sorted a few bits out and lifted the valuable upstairs and unplugged electric items and switched off as much as possible and went to bed hoping the worst was over.

It went down overnight,  so when we got up on Wednesday we were quietly confident, that was it. Off we tootled off to work and didn't really give it another thought.  But came home to quite a shock.

Our road was closed and had to walk through the floods to get home.  The next street along was  a real mess.

When I saw my house I was in a real panic as we had a river running down the side of the house and down the road.  This was our neighbours garage

Remarkably, even though it was up to our  door then it hadn't come into the house.

The water was basically coming from the back as a stream, through our garden,  as the road is on a small slope it ran like a river down the road and luckily drained off enough to keep it from rising,

Unfortunately the drains were getting backlogged  and it started to rise again,  so with all the neighbours we were out with brooms to push it down the road quicker.  A couple of quick minded people, knocked out some of our fencing to stop it building up behind and to get it moving quicker.  Also a few planks of wood were hammered onto the brooms and so larger amounts of water were being moved. Also someone set up a submersible pump to move some water down to the unlocked drains. The fire brigade then started pumping out from the next street on.

 The Council Incident unit  came and assessed our situation, and then the council brought us sand bags and gel bags to block doors in the hope of keeping it all out.

Unfortunately as the van arrived then some people from another road ( who had no water as yet) helped themselves to the bags when no one was looking,  so they then had to go and get some more for us.  People are so impatient,  they were going round and prioritising those at risk first, rather than doing it in order as some people wanted them to do.

The council then took the decision to build a barrier behind our gardens.  With this and the fire brigade, we stopped trying to move the water away from our houses about 8pm last night.   ( the pictures were taken this morning, so the water is much lower than last night)

I am so grateful to all the neighbours,  most of who were not affected and some complete strangers that helped us out.  We had offers from people we haver never met, to store furniture for us or ring later for assistance if things got worse.
The fire brigade and council were great and even though some people felt they weren't kept informed,  I was grateful they just got on and sorted it, rather than chat to everyone .  Luckily by us, no houses were lost,  so that is amazing considering the amount of water that was  coming through at the peak of the rain storm.

I know that unlike some poor people around the country we were incredibly lucky .


  1. Wow. Glad you are all ok and that your house didn't get flooded. It's so frightening isn't it! Water is beautiful but not when it threatens our comfort and security!

    1. Thanks Aileen, it was very frightening , I feel so sorry for those he weren't as lucky

  2. Really glad that you're ok. Awful to go through. Just mind-boggling that some people can't think to do the right thing (sand/gel bags) and wonderful that others can and do help.

    1. Thanks x I think in an emergency it brings out either the best or the worst in people , thankfully it the best in most people :-)

  3. So pleased that you've survived the flood. Must have been so scary watching the water rise. You always think these things happen to other people not you!

    1. It was all a bit mad and I don;t think it sank in what the consequences might have been , :-)

  4. Bli, that was close wasn't it!? How scary for you and your neighbours. I do like the idea of the wooden planks on broomsticks, that's fabulous and would certainly shift the water quickly!

  5. I wish I had a got a picture of the funky brooms :-)

  6. Gee Janice, I am so glad you came away unscathed!
    Those floods are horrible every time. They kill people (did you hear about that couple found dead because, it is thought, they meant to rescue their dog? My heart goes out to their families, what lovely, brave, adorable people those two must have been) and devastate lives.
    Our cellar in the old house got flooded twice (nearly reached living area) and ever since I feel for those affected. We lost nothing worth mentioning then, but just thinking that many families just woke up to a huge pool in their house, trashing everything from carpets over toys to, I daren't think, photo albums and heirlooms is sickening.
    Fingers crossed you will remain largely unaffected. And I hope your council will do a lot more in the coming weeks and months than hand out sand bags to the families who lost a lot.