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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 15:21 GMT 16:21 UK
Victims' stories of flood trauma
By Sallie George and James Clarke
BBC News

Cars abandoned in Sheffield city centre
Many people had to abandon their cars in flooded Sheffield city centre
Torrential rain has brought chaos to much of England, with Yorkshire among the areas most badly-hit.

Parts of South Yorkshire have been virtually cut off from the rest of the country with many major roads closed and public transport severely disrupted.

The BBC News website has spoken to some of those affected by the flooding.

THE FLOODED SMALLHOLDER

Ian Wright, 48, lives in a smallholding in Greaves Lane in High Green, near the Chapeltown area of Sheffield.

He said a stream called Blackburn Brook which runs directly past his house burst its banks, with 2ft of water washing over his garden and then inside.

He lost 20 chickens and spent the day digging trenches to try to keep the water away, although he could not keep it out of his home and some of his carpets were ruined.

Ian Wright with his son Jack
Ian Wright's family home has been flooded before

Mr Wright said: "It was terrible, I thought we were going to lose the house.

"The river broke its banks and about 2ft of water ran over the garden.

"We've got away quite lightly compared to some but we have lost carpets, the kitchen units and decorations.

"We have had flooding before but never anything like this.

"It was very quick when it came, I was frantically trying to stop the water coming into the house. We dug ditches out and to a large degree it worked as we would have been under about 3ft of water - it was awful."

Mr Wright, who lives with his wife Vicky, also 48, and their nine-year-old son Jack, said they were also affected by flooding just two weeks ago, but water did not come into the house then.

He said he was angry with the council because drains in the road outside his home were blocked, with one tarmacked over - so water could not drain away.

THE GP WITH NO ELECTRICITY

Dr Andrew Thake, 30, is a GP in the Hillsborough area of Sheffield.

He said his surgery had been without electricity since Monday afternoon and it was not expected to be restored until at least Wednesday.

He said: "The rumours have been going - we've been told tomorrow, but some people have said it could be three days. Apparently the sub-station is under 5ft of water.

I left my car at the surgery and ran home last night and ran back in this morning, because all the roads where I live were under water
Dr Andrew Thake

"All our phones are down and we've got no computers, we can't do an awful lot, but our patients are fairly sensible and while the power's off not many of them are coming down.

"We have had some patients coming down with things like chest pain, but anything worse than that and we've been having to send them to hospital.

"But we will stay open for the hours we normally would be and we will see people who need to be seen.

"The roads around the surgery aren't too bad, but people have been evacuated from the Winn Gardens Estate, which is where many of our patients live.

"I left my car at the surgery and ran home last night and ran back in this morning, because all the roads where I live were under water. I wouldn't fancy trying to drive.

"A lot of the staff have come in even though they've got no electricity at home and haven't been able to shower. There's no cups of tea to be had but we are fully staffed."

THE DEVASTATED HOMEOWNER

Paul Crossland, 34, who lives in Littlefield Lane in Wombwell, near Barnsley, was forced to leave his house at 1630 BST on Monday, when his cellar filled with water.

Mr Crossland said the water level was so high - 6ft - it was coming out of his basement window.

It was unreal. We thought it was bad last week, but this was far worse
Paul Crossland

He said the river at the top of his street had burst its banks, turning the road outside his house into a river.

Paul Crossland said his utility room and entertainment room were completely destroyed, and he had spent Tuesday pumping water out.

"I think it's going to be another two days before I can get all the water out. I managed to save about 10% of my belongings, but the rest I'm going to have to throw away.

"It was unreal. We thought it was bad last week, but this was far worse."

He decided to leave, taking his dog Holly with him, when the floodwaters were just three inches from reaching his kitchen.

THE COUPLES FLOODED OUT AGAIN

For two couples in the village of Wombwell, south of Barnsley, the rising floodwaters were all too familiar. Both were forced out when water flowed in to their homes earlier this month.

Wayne, 36, and 31-year-old Karen Jones, of Station Road, have been living with Mrs Jones's mother since the previous flood swept through the ground floor, destroying furniture and electrical equipment.

Wayne and Karen Jones
[The house] hadn't even had a chance to dry out
Wayne Jones
And when they managed to get back in to the house after Monday's deluge, it was clear the waters had reached waist-height again.

Mr Jones said: "The first time the house flooded the water was coming from everywhere, from the front door through the back door and through the garage door.

"We stripped everything out, we took the plaster off the walls and took up the laminate floor, but it's come in again. It hadn't even had a chance to dry out."

It could be as long as six months before they can return home.

It is a similar story for Sharon and Les Guest, also of Station Road, who have been staying in a B&B since the last flood, on Friday 15 June.

The couple fear there has now been up to 40,000 of structural damage done to their house.

Mr Guest, 49, said: "Everything was written off last time, but this time it has lifted everything up that was left."

Mrs Guest said they also do not anticipate being able to get back home again until the end of the year.

"We've just been tidying up and tried to get everything we can upstairs," she said.

"But now it's just going to be left. It's devastating, especially when you've put so much work into your house."

THE PHILOSOPHICAL PUBLICAN

Tom Tucker, 37, the manager of Thawleys pub in Wombwell, had to close 10 days ago when the last floods hit and he said it would be weeks before he could reopen.

He has been pumping out water from his cellar and his vehicle, which had been left in the car park.

Mr Tucker said: "The water came in ridiculously quickly. It came across the car park like a river.

I am being a bit philosophical at this point
Tom Tucker

"I walked across the car park and the current was literally shifting me. It pushed the cars in the car park about four feet backward."

He said his carpets were soaked during the previous floods and he had to strip his bottom floor back to the ground.

"It was still too wet to relay the flooring and it is now all wet again.

"I am being a bit philosophical at this point and I am just waiting for the next one to hit.

"I think a lot of people expected a bit more information and bit more communication from the local authority. The first time we didn't even get sand bags.

"I haven't been able to tally everything up. We are a little bit concerned about structural damage to nearby buildings.

"It's really shocking but what can you do when nature rears its talons, you just have to go with it. But it has got me thinking about global warming."




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