Wednesday, 21 September 2011

The Flood House

Stood in the village feeling totally displaced, we were very relieved to see my friend pull up. We could stay at her house for as long as we needed.

Other people were having to go to the local leisure centre and schools if they had nowhere else to go. I have seen news items before, where there has been for whatever reason people having to do this, I have thought poor buggers, not giving a minutes thought to what happens next.

It is difficult to explain how it feels to be homeless, for a week or so we were aimless and in shock, we more or less sat in my friends listening to the news and weather reports obsessively. The area of flooding was the size of Windemere in the Lake District, this made any journey of normality very difficult, school and work, not an option. We weren't allowed back in our home, the area was policed, it was too dangerous as they were considering blowing the river bank if needed, to protect the main towns homes and businesses. If the banks were broken the 2ft of water would rise to ceiling height. In my home on a downstairs wall I had a gallery of family photographs, one of my dad when he was aged 15 was pride of place. I had to use all my powers of persuasion on one of the policemen to allow me back in my home to retrieve these photographs, sod the furniture, these things were very precious.

The process of trying to put life in some sort of order needed to begin, insurance company was contacted, we needed to find somewhere to live. As the area of flooding was so large trying to find a rental property was like finding rocking horse shit. We came upon one in an unusual way, the local council had set up a website for people to donate things to the people who had been flooded, the offers ranged from a room or furniture, amongst all of these things was someone offering a house rental, it was a four bed and on the right side of the river. We arranged to see it and agreed to do a private let with the owner.

The house was lovely, I nicknamed it the Flood House and I hated it.

Sha X

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

November Rain

An early November morning, the sky was the brightest blue, it was eerily quiet, apart from a distant sound of someone calling Help Me.

The calling woke my husband and I up, confused we got up, hoping to locate the source of this strange sound, nothing could have prepared us for what we saw looking out of the window, we were completely surrounded by water as far as the eye could see. The cry's of help totally jarred against the stillness and almost ethereal picture before our eyes.

The previous evening all of our street was outside, police were going around to tell us to either vacate our property or to at least move belongings higher. I asked the policeman did he really think we were going to be flooded? In his opinion, no he didn't, they were taking precautionary action.

At that time all of our neighbours were not just neighbours we were friends too, we had all moved in around the same time as it was a new development, we socialised together, had bbqs, bonfire night parties, even some Christmas's together. It was lovely social time in our lives I sometimes felt like we were on permanent holiday.

Practicality set in very quickly, there was no mobile phone signal, husband went downstairs to investigate to be greeted with 2ft of rank freezing cold water. How the hell were we going to get out, how far did this water stretch and where would we go. We then heard men,s voices and a dinghy boat. They instructed us to put the house key on something to lower down to them from the bedroom window to enable them to get in. They then gave us dry suits to put on, mine looked very fetching given that it's purpose was for a 6 footer and I am 4ft 11. On coming downstairs I couldn't believe the damage and devastation. We had packed a suitcase and with son and dog were assisted in to the boat. I remember our rescuers hands were blue from the cold, a look of exhaustion on their faces, they had been working tirelessly through the night to rescue people.

The cries for help were another neighbour in complete shock. We were taken to higher ground in the village, it was like something out of a movie, every news channel had a van with a satellite dish on top, there were hundreds of people milling around, the army, police and a chinook in the air.

What the hell happened and what do we do now running through my head.

Sha X

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