Monday, 22 November 2010

Cornwall's floods, Lostwithiel

We are fine. The bottom of the garden had 2" of mud and had the car been parked there it would have been a write off. The force of the water burst the back gates open and caused some damage to them but I think they only stayed together through habit anyway. Talking of the car, Tom usually parks down on quay street but since he had to put his wellies on to get in it a few weeks ago, (it often floods a bit on a very high tide) he parks it by the church when he can and that is where it was.

It was a flash flood, one home had been condemned, seven shops are closed through having all their stock damaged. They are not missing much, the town is very quite, everyone thinks we are still covered in water. Traditionally the next two weeks are among the busiest of the year, that is not going to happen this year. We miss the bakery the most. The clean up was fantastic by Friday afternoon all the town streets were clean, they carried off hundreds of tons of mud, rocks and pea shingle from the escape lane main road that had washed right down as far as Quay Street. Dozens of cars were ferried out of town to be scraped. Skips have come and gone for all the furniture and flooring that has been thrown out of peoples houses. The poor bridge is still waiting for a proper survey and closed as an unsafe structure. The two huge long armed diggers and HGV lorry that dealt with clearing the debris washed down with the flood did not cause its collapse, but we are not allowed to walk across it. It divides the town in two. Going to the dentist, station or collecting my grandson from nursery is now a long walk around.

The force of the water is what surprised everyone, crashing through locked doors and carrying off cars or slamming them together or against remaining solid objects; dismantling stone walls and the mud, how everyone hated the mud.

Tanhouse Road is still closed as it is blocked with rubble. (This is the road the flood came down.)

Stories of insurance companies suing the environment agency because of drains not cleared abound.

However good things often come from bad, and it is not until you are about to loose something you take for granted that you realise how much you love it, so if our lovely bridge survives we have plans to pay homage to it.

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