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Last Updated: Thursday, 5 July 2007, 15:55 GMT 16:55 UK
Flooding drains but tears remain
Mark Simpson
BBC North of England correspondent

An estimated 35,000 people have been affected by flooding in Hull.

No surprise then that the fastest growing industry there this summer is skip hire.

Flood damage
Many prized possessions have to be thrown away

Street after street, house after house, has a big, yellow container outside. When drivers arrive to pick them up, there's a rush to book a return trip.

On Hembley Way in the north of the city, families have had to throw away some of their prized possessions.

As I took a look at all the houses with flooded furniture, I stumbled across a brand-new ornate mantelpiece on a front lawn.

"You can have it," came a shout from an upstairs window.

Damp

It was local woman Patricia Hunt, and she wasn't joking. "It's no use to us, it's ruined."

Fridges, freezers, carpets, curtains, televisions, radios, sofas, chairs, washing machines, dish-washers, tumble-driers, clothes, rugs and even remote controls are stacked in soggy piles on saturated streets.

It's the worst thing that's ever happened to us, apart from the war
Patricia Hunt

In all but a few parts of Hull, the water has now gone. The problem was, it took 10 days to go. And everywhere is still damp.

Mrs Hunt and her husband Bill have had to stay in their home, even though the entire downstairs spent a week under water. Patricia's 83-year-old mother, Nancy, lives upstairs and doesn't want to move.

"It's terrible, especially for my mum," says Patricia, wiping her eyes. As for Nancy, she says: "It's the worst thing that's ever happened to us... apart from the war of course."

Help

From their upstairs bedroom, the Hunt family can see the area where the Hull East MP (and former deputy Prime Minister) John Prescott lives.

They are thinking of calling round to see him, to see if he knows what the government is going to do to help.

Another flood victim, Gail Watson, reckons it is time Gordon Brown came to Hull.

"He should come here and tell us who's going to pay for all the damage. Especially the people who are not insured," said Gail, as she piled her destroyed furniture outside her home.

Others on the street were too upset to talk. The flood water may have gone from Hull, but there are plenty of tears.


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Surveying the mess left by floods in Hull





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