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 .