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Shropshire flooding: People counting the cost in Shrewsbury as firms lose thousands

By Sue Austin | Shrewsbury | News | Published: | Last Updated:

Residents and businesses are counting the cost of the Severn bursting its banks in Shrewsbury as many revealed they were not insured for flood damage.

The River Severn at English Bridge

With properties along the river unable to get insurance against the water coming into the buildings, scores of those affected by this week's flooding are facing the added worry of the financial burden of replacing items and repairing the damage.

The county town is still mopping up after the worst flooding in 20 years.

Levels on the River Severn peaked at 4.85m at Welsh Bridge just 40cm below the highest ever recorded level which was recorded during the floods in 2000.

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One resident of Marine Terrace, near English Bridge, who didn't want to be named, said they they had been able to move most things upstairs but would have to replace carpets and a washing machine.

"We knew we couldn't get flood insurance but we loved the house and the view."

The Hop and Friar in St Julian's Friars, saw seven foot of water pour into its cellar, ruining the draught beer and thousands of pounds of stock.

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Barbara Tromans from the Hop and Friar

Landlady, Barbara Tromans, said Monday night had been 'horrible'.

"We lost everything in the cellar. We have been here 11 years and there hasn't been a problem for the last five years," she said.

"We stayed open until 10pm on Monday and were open again last night for the football selling bottles of beer and wine. After that we have organised for an outside bar to ensure we can keep trading.

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"We are still very much open and we really need support from customers as we have no insurance against flood damage - companies won't insure businesses along the river."

Mary Davies, owner of Darwin's Townhouse bed and breakfast in St Julian's said its insurance, which had included flood damage, ran out two weeks ago and they had been unable to find a replacement.

Darwin's Townhouse gardens

Two of the guest bedrooms in the basement of the property are several feet underwater with furniture and furnishings completely ruined while access to the eight room annexe was cut off when the river poured into the property's gardens.

"Our upstairs guest rooms are absolutely fine and so with those and with our sister properties we were able to cater for all our guests," he said.

One of the flooded bedrooms at Darwin's Townhouse

MJ and Co Accountants on Wyle Cop - Simon Cook and Benn Pryce - managed to move all the furniture onto their higher floor - working until 10pm Monday night.

"When we left the water was half an inch up the wall but it was even higher when we came in in the morning," they said.

Simon Cook and Benn Pryce

"We were lucky that were were able to move everything and we have been able to remain open for business."

Local people say water rose 'frighteningly quickly'.

Sharon Griffiths, who lives in Chester Street, said her neighbour rang her at work to alert her of the rising water.

"Within half an hour she rang back saying the water was just pouring down the road," she said.

"My husband and I both left work and managed to get home just in time to rescue our vehicles in the car park, but other people weren't so lucky and their cars are submerged. We are on the first floor so our home is safe.

"We have had flooding before but nothing like this. I can't understand why the Coton Hill barrier didn't go up."

Coleham Head flood barriers

A resident of Carline Crescent on Coleham Head said Thomas Court had been completely cut off, with not even pedestrian access.

"The authorities have not given thought to how we could have pedestrian access. All it would need would be a stile over the barriers," she said.

"My mother has dementia and not being able to get out makes her very anxious. We couldn't get out to get anything."

A six-week closure of London Road was temporarily lifted by BT today until further notice while the town recovers from the flooding, helping to ease congestion on nearby Wenlock Road.

Sue Austin

By Sue Austin
Chief Reporter

Chief reporter of the Oswestry/Mid Wales office. Keen to hear your news.

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