Cleobury Mortimer flood victims back home

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A CLEOBURY Mortimer couple are celebrating being back in their home but live in fear that floods that hit them last year could strike again.

David and Beryl Underhill – both in their 80s – had to be rescued by firefighters after a brook that runs next to their bungalow burst its banks last July.

The flood, which happened during a major rain storm, was so bad the water came up to the headrests of their car parked in the garage and three feet up the walls inside their home.

David, 82, and Beryl, 81, won’t forget the day when Pudding Brook, near their Tenbury Road home flooded.

“The sky suddenly went so black that we had to put the lights on,” said Beryl “Then it started to rain. It was a terrible downpour and just didn’t stop. After a while, the water started coming into the house.

“We tried to pile belongings on our settee to save it but the water came in so quickly, it was terrifying.

“The water was up to my waist – the only thing I was able to save were my photographs.

After 62 years of marriage, that’s all I thought of. I didn’t want to lose them.”

The couple lived in rented accommodation while the damage was repaired.

During that time, David suffered a serious bladder infection and a heart attack.

“It has been a very trying time for us, but we are so glad to be able to get back into our home,” added Beryl.

She is seeking assurances from the Environment Agency about new housing developments along the brook which have resulted in more water being pumped into it – and the brook’s capacity to cope with future periods of prolonged, heavy rain.

Cornbrook Construction, based in Cleobury Mortimer, repaired the damage and put in flood defence measures designed to keep future floodwater at bay.

“We are delighted that David and Beryl have now returned to their home,”

said Matt Breakwell of Cornbrook.

“But we share their concern that their property could be threatened in the future.

“We have installed proven flood defence measures that we expect will be very effective.

However, no one can predict perfectly the severity of any future flood threat.”

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