Bridgnorth homeowner counting costs of continuous floods

A riverside homeowner who was forced to evacuate for six months last year due to floods is once again counting the costs of the Severn bursting its banks.

Sally Hebbard has been flooded multiple times in the last 12 months
Sally Hebbard has been flooded multiple times in the last 12 months

But having spent tens of thousands of pounds making the Severn Terrace property as flood-proof as possible, Sally Hebbard said the damage following Storm Christoph weeks ago is not "anywhere near" what happened in 2020.

"We've had tons of concrete poured into the living room so there's no void underneath the floor, and we've actually had the whole ground floor lifted," said Sally, a teacher at Dudley College of Technology.

With a restoration team set to sweep the property and conduct a full sanitising clean, Sally said anything that avoids a repetition of last year's devastating floods was a success.

Despite the coronavirus pandemic gripping hold of the nation at the start of 2020, Sally's focus was fixed on the rising river level seen from her bedroom window at the house in Bridgnorth, which caused them to become flooded three times in two weeks – leading to an eventual evacuation.

Flooding at the property this year

Gazing upon her beloved home from rented accommodation across the road for months, the mother of one finally moved back in August and set to the refurbishment which was close to completion in December.

Sally, who lives with her husband, teenage daughter and two dogs Charlie and Lola, said: "We're now recovering from the flooding two weeks ago, as we had another two inches come into the house.

"Unfortunately we had more or less just completed the renovation but we're still living in it now.

"We didn't want a repetition of last year so we've made it as comfortable as possible until it's completely cleaned – we were only out for three days this time.

"There isn't anywhere near as much damage as last year, mainly thanks to the changes we've made."

Sally Hebbard has been flooded multiple times in the last 12 months

Several internal walls have been knocked down, making it open plan to ensure water cannot puddle and underfloor heating has been installed to help dry out the property.

Extra pumps have been installed and the ground floor has been tiled to help the run-off of water.

"Now these things are in place it's a lot more manageable – we see it as a success," Sally added.

"The underfloor rubber piping works fantastically well. Next we're going to build a wall around the back terrace."

Sally said although flood defences along the river would be welcome, they were not expected anytime soon.

Sally Hebbard has been flooded multiple times in the last 12 months

"From what we gather they say there's not enough people affected by it to warrant investing such a big sum of money in defences, which is understandable," she said.

"There's always talk about it but nothing really gets done.

"The water will always try to come in but each time we flood we're learning and each time we're putting better plans in place.

"Only a huge project from the government would be able to stop it completely.

"We feel lucky – two neighbours are still out in rentals so we're feeling fortunate to be back already."

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