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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 12:14 GMT
Flood victims' homeless misery
Adrian and Jennifer Davies
Adrian and Jennifer Davies had their house gutted
A family forced from their homes in south Wales by flooding two weeks ago may not be able to move back in before Christmas.

Adrian and Jennifer Davies suffered more than most when a six foot wave of water crashed through their house so violently it smashed the downstairs windows.

Adrian's father Leonard, who lived two doors away in Ynysmeudwy near Pontardawe, was trapped upstairs as the torrent washed away all his possessions and left his home caked in sludge.

A fortnight on, only now are they coming to terms with the full extent of the damage.

It has fostered a greater community spirit in this small area
Jennifer Davies

The floods wreaked havoc in many areas of Wales on 3-4 February, and Ynysmeudy was one of the worst hit.

Adrian Davies, a builder, told BBC Wales News Online: "It was not a case of what had been damaged, it was what could be salvaged. In truth nothing could be saved."

The ground floor rooms have been gutted, the plaster has been hacked off the walls and the flooring taken up.

They have been told it will take at least six to 10 weeks for the walls to dry sufficiently before any further work can be done.

In the meantime they are anxiously waiting for their insurance company to decide the extent of their settlement.

"My dad has had it the worst," added Mr Davies.

"He lost the lot. This was his house, his parents' house before that and his grandparents' house.

Leonard Davies
Leonard Davies on the muddy ruins of what used to be his lawn

"It has aged him. He is looking as if he is carrying a 10 tonne weight on his shoulders."

Mr Davies senior, 61, has been unable to return to work at the Ford plant in Bridgend since the flood.

He lost a lifetime of photos of his children and grandchildren that hung on his walls, and the garden which was his pride and enjoy is still under several feet of mud.

"I don't think I'll be able to move back until Christmas if I'm lucky," he said.

"I'm staying with my daughter just up the hill but she has a husband and four children. My son-in-law is sleeping on the couch.

"The weather is helping a lot at he moment but that's the only think going for us."

Adrian and Jennifer Davies and their two children were not living in their house at the time, but were having it renovated.

They are resigned to staying in rented accommodation for most of the year.

Jennifer Davies said she had her fingers crossed that repairs would be completed before December and their plight had brought a wonderful response from neighbours.

"It has fostered a greater community spirit in this small area," she said.

"People have said if they have anything spare then we can have it.

"We are hoping to be back in for Christmas - anything earlier would be a bonus.

"The whole family have spent many a Christmas in this house and if we are back in it will be the best Christmas ever."


SEE ALSO:
Mountain torrent crashes into homes
04 Feb 04  |  South West Wales
Emergency exercise follows flood
11 Feb 04  |  South West Wales
Flood victims' six-month wait
05 Feb 04  |  Wales
Couple's heartache as flood strikes
03 Feb 04  |  North West Wales


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