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 Floods!!

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Paula

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PostSubject: Floods!!   Mon Jan 20, 2014 4:51 am

Last evening we tried to leave Chadmead to go to Taunton for a takeaway meal - we could not get out at the bottom of our track as the water was too deep - had to return home and cook tea!

Today we went for a walk to see how it is all holding up round and about - we can now get out as the water at the bottom of the track has gone down.  Took these pictures of the moor at the back of us:-





























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PostSubject: Floods   Thu Jan 30, 2014 10:20 am

Hi Andy and Paula , brill pics as always , the floods are really bad around you .

Thank you for letting us come round for a cuppa , was nice to have a chat and we could see how much water was lying around . see you Thursday at the club meeting ,

Eric and Jacki .
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PostSubject: floods   Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:18 am

Hi Paula just heard you wont make it for weekend ,we wil all really miss you both. Hope you stay dry ,
if not and you need help its there for asking .Good luck, Mike
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PostSubject: Thank you all   Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:36 am


Just wanted to say - thank you so much for all the offers of help.  We have had lots of calls to check we are OK and folk offering whatever help is needed - hopefully that will be nothing, however....


Things have become more critical as the day has gone on.  The Environment Agency bods have been here today to warn us that the level of water on the moor is set to rise at least 20 inches over the next two days.  The ditch at the bottom of our garden is rising visibly and backing up from a moor that is saturated.  It is now covered and the water is creeping towards the house.   No 


Tomorrow is promised to be a better day but bad weather is set to return on Saturday.


At the other side of Chadmead, the water has already surrounded one property and the other folk are very worried.  Our house is one of the highest by several inches and so that is a bonus - yes every inch does count!!!     silent 


This house has been here for over 500 years and in living memory it has never flooded - in 25 years we have never been at threat.


We feel that if things stay as they are now - with levels rising so rapidly  - we have to stay here to monitor it and take action if it comes to the house walls.


Sadly that means missing out on the show.    Sad 

If things here stabilize we will try to get over on Sunday during the day - but meantime looking on the bright side - the weekend will be much quieter!     lol!  


Hope you all have a great weekend - I am sure you will.    Cocktail 

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PostSubject: Latest Pictures   Fri Feb 07, 2014 6:46 am

This was the bottom of our track yesterday morning








The fields at the back of us




Water levels yesterday





and today





Is this the first house of many?








Our bridge at the end of our garden, two pictures taken an hour apart.  The bridge is virtually gone now - submerged.  The water as I type is half way up to the first horizontal rail.








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PostSubject: A train journey   Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:27 am


Click the link and see something that looks like a disaster area in another country - could not possibly be England..............


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-26084245


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PostSubject: Our bridge today at lunch time   Sat Feb 08, 2014 8:29 am

Now it is even worse - in fact the bridge is no more - just hand rails in place - the sleepers started to float away and so we dragged them onto the path.

The threat still seems a long way from our doors but we are being told to expect the worse.  Water levels are still rising and four nieghbours have water at their walls - they are expecting it to enter the houses tonight.

We are sand bagged up so just have to wait now.

Wish we were in our snug van at the Show!




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PostSubject: The latest   Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:52 am


The water is now at the house but as yet not inside - we have sand bags everywhere and even polythene and sandbags in the house at the back door.  Everything we can carry is upstairs and the furniture is on bricks.  We have to wait now.


The Police have just called to check we are all OK - they had a good look around, took contact phone numbers etc.


We have just heard that there are two very heavy duty pumps here from Holland and pumping should start by the end of tomorrow.  It will be pretty spectacular as they intend to shoot the water over a road at Seven Bends (Othery) into the river relief channel and then out to sea at Dunball.  It all takes a while as the road has to be closed and no doubt there have been many meetings to organize this!


We are all hoping that our houses will hold out long enough for the pumps to take affect - the rise has slowed now but today it has come up a further 2 inches.



We have walked around the block today and two houses are totally surrounded by the water, everyone else is very close and one house is pumping it away from its walls.  Sadly, for that house, it is already under the floor.


One house, so far cannot use their toilet - so we have two Porta Loos  here parked up!  We are trying to put as little water into our tank as possible as it is filling up with flood water.  I have just washed my hair using a bowl and cup - just like we used to do in the old days!


I still think we will be OK - just.  However, I hope they are not "famous last words"!!!!
 
Our garden today........




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PostSubject: Re: Floods!!   Tue Feb 11, 2014 9:50 am

Blimey Paula it is looking bad , hope you both okay let us know if you need any help or need any think picked up . Hope the water is starting to drain away and starting to go down now will give you a ring tomorrow night and see how you both are . Take care and stay safe , Eric
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PostSubject: visit in the floods   Thu Feb 13, 2014 10:54 am

Been out to see Andy and Paula tonight what a nightmare. Firstly had trouble getting to them , the way i normally go was flooded so Andy told me of another way to get there , still had to go through floods but only about 6 inch deep .

They have sand bags all round the house , the whole back garden is under water looks just like a lake. water in one  lounge was about 6 inch high , the other lounge was just flooding . At the moment the kitchen is okay , Andy's workshops outside where flooded .

They have 2 or 3 pumps going trying to pump out water , but don't seem to be making much different as there is so much water , think you need to see it for your own eyes to believe how bad it is .

My heart goes out to Andy and Paula , they both don't know which way to turn or what to do next . I'm glad i made it out there just to give them some morale support and they need lots of it . At the moment there is nothing any one can do to help , think its just a waiting game .

So the best we can all do is say a prayer for Andy and Paula that the water starts to slow down and they stay safe .

Stay safe Andy and Paula i am here if you need anything, just ring .

Eric and Jacki xx
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PostSubject: Update re floods as at 16 March   Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:41 pm

Lots of folk asking how things are going so thought if I add a note to this thread it can be easily shared.

The good news is that the sandbags were all moved yesterday - thanks to the Environment Agency and The volunteers from (I think) The Plymouth Brethren plus a fleet of very nice blue wheelbarrows!

The garden is not as bad as I thought it would be - Andy cut the grass and it looks quite normal if you look quickly. A closer look shows the flattened shrubs, huge bare patches on the lawn, broken and dislodged bricks and concrete and the mud and silt covering all the paths.

At least we can now walk around the house.

Never mind, the sun is shining and we are going to West Bay on the one and only bike we have access to - it cant all be bad....

Before the sand bag removal yesterday





And now



As we have become experts on all things "sand bag" and we are so used to them being part of our lives we could not let them all go
so a few have stayed as a reminder............



Last week when we thought that all the bags were with us for the long term we tried to enhance their appearance somewhat.....



As for the inside of the house - we are making no progress at all - the surveyor and drying firm were here two weeks ago - the loss adjuster 10 days ago.  We have heard nothing since and we cannot get to speak with anybody for an update.  We have spoken with an independent loss adjuster and surveyor - they were very thorough and although they charge a fee we feel that this is the road we will have to go down.

Our nieghbours have all had their properties stripped out and the dryers are in - they are making great progress - our house is getting more and more damp - the smell is awful and we have mould growing on the walls.  

Just to recap here are some pictures of our flooded home.



 





Watch the socket on the wall in future shots!













We thought that our sofa standing on 4 house bricks would have been safe but alas the water was too deep and the sofa soaked up the flood water - the other two pieces of the suite were in the other lounge and they managed to stay dry - however, the loss adjuster says he will only replace the one sofa and not the whole matching set - we should have let the other pieces get wet.  It seems that you get penalized for doing your utmost to save your belongings. 


























And finally - our makeshift office in our only dry bit of house - even that did not stay dry for long!  maybe I can make some money in London selling trendy office furniture.


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PostSubject: Re: Floods!!   Sat Apr 05, 2014 3:36 am

Hello everyone

Thought it was time to add an update to our progress.

We are still living in the van - today will be our 53rd night.  The van is now at home - without the sandbags and porta loo we have our parking space restored.    Clap 

We have cleaned the kitchen floor of silt best as we could and brought the garage leather chairs in - with the rayburn going we have at least got a warm and comfortable place for the evenings.  We love our van but the seating is not as comfortable as a sofa or comfy chair. The dresser has been brought back in to store the essentials.

It does illustrate just how few of your possessions you actually NEED!   Rolling Eyes 

We now have some drying equipment in place and the house does not smell quite so damp.

We have finally got a house to rent - we are (fingers are still crossed) moving on the 16th April.  We will be living at Blagdon Hill for at least 6 months.

It is a bit posh for the likes of us.  For Mike's benefit though - it is before the hair pin so when he cycles that way he can replenish his batteries prior to the steep climb!

All joking aside, though, it has the double garage we need and sufficient parking for the van, trailor and car.  It will be great to have the bikes with us again.

We are still finding Royal Sun Alliance very difficult to deal with - even though we have engaged independent loss adjusters I think we still have a battle on our hands to get things done properly.    Banghead  

Next week we need to knuckle down and go through the barn contents - we cannot take everything with us but we have been told to push for it to be professionally cleaned and so will need to empty it at some stage.  There is a lot that we need to throw away.......

The prospect of moving is filled with mixed feelings - it will be great to have a home and space again, but having never rented I find it all a bit strange - not been able to alter things - even put pictures up where you want them.  We are not sure what to take and what to leave or if the things we leave will remain undamaged while work is carried out. 

We have got a lot of "stuff" and this summer was going to be our year to have a good clear out - well I guess we have been forced into it.

We have kitchen things in the bedrooms and lounge contents all over the place - as most of you know I don't do "unorganised"! 

The garden needs a rethink - we need to kill what is left of the lawn, rotovate it and reseed in the autumn. 

Anyone good at rotovating or even got a rotovator - please apply here.  Also if you are good at planning gardens we would love to here from you!

The greenhouse is thick with silt and so needs to be emptied ready for disinfecting.  

The summerhouse is not quite so bad but still needs cleaning.


 Cleaning 

Everywhere we look there is mess to sort out and at the moment we are looking at a very big mountain to climb.  Fiddle 

I have added a few more photos to show progress!

Thank you very much to everyone who has offered and delivered help, food, a listening ear and moral support.  It is really appreciated.



Chairs for Darby and Joan or what?!   rob 




















In the middle of it all our car would not start - the key had thrown toys from the pram and refused to talk to the engine.  A new key was purchased - that will teach the old one to have tantrums - and reprogrammed by Hickleys and we were mobile again.  Driving  

Thanks very much to Tiggie who just happened to come over with a scrummy lasagne and ended up going into town with Andy and our car.  Then bringing him home again.  Also the RAC man who towed the car was a star.      

It is not all doom and gloom - today our van has passed his MOT - some good fortune at last.   Very Happy 

 Off Topic 

We also took ourselves off to Minehead last week as they had a steam gala.  We saw some stunning trains but this one was my favourite - built in 1917 and served in France during the war - and has worked virtually all it's life.

The following link gives a brief history of this spectacular engine
http://www.didcotrailwaycentre.org.uk/locos/5322/5322.html











We had a day riding on the trains on Thursday - we managed to ride with every locomotive running and disembarked at Watchet for ice cream!

The next day we braved the wind, rain and bitter cold to walk to Blue Anchor - these shots were well worth the suffering - well I think they are - not sure if a long suffering Andy would agree?!




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PostSubject: We have moved   Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:17 am

Finally we have moved to our rental house - it has been a nightmare as the Insurance Company refused to pay Pickfords to move us - even though they had asked them to quote for the job. We only found out by accident that Pickfords had cancelled our slot as the Insurers would not pay.  We would have been sitting here waiting for them to arrive and been very disappointed! 

We did manage to get the company who have installed our drying equipment to help us out with the big furniture but we had to move everything else ourselves.  We have made so many trips back and forth - we are sick of boxes!

We have no landline or internet accesss and so come back to Chadmead regularly to do emails etc.

The house we have moved to is very nice and I am sure we will settle very well.

It is a shame that we are unable to relax a little in the knowledge that our insurers have our best interests at heart.  Sadly it looks as though they want to repair the house as quickly as possible and to a very poor standard.

We have nieghbours who are being treated splendidly and their homes will be like new - we have employed an Independent Loss Assesor but even he does not appear to be making any progress.

We have cancelled our answer phone an our landline and so our only means of contact is on our mobiles - 
Andy 07905 509233 
Paula 07942 900432

I think we have a very stressful summer ahead of us.................... Banghead 

Paula
xxxx

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Paula

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PostSubject: Re: Floods!!   Mon Mar 16, 2015 9:49 pm

Almost a year since the last update and much has changed - we have had to move again - we loved the house at Blagdon Hill but the owner wanted it back.  Crying or Very sad  On a positive we made some very good friends in that six months and we still keep in touch with them.

Over a year since we flooded and we are finally having our precious Somerset Long House restored to a very good standard. After a long hard fight the Insurance Company are being very fair and the house has been totally stripped out.  New plaster is now on the walls and painting is in progress.  As I type, the tiled kitchen floor is being laid and a new kitchen arriving this week.
The garden is still a mess and the barn is not yet sorted.
Due to health issues we have not been able to do as much as we had hoped over the past year and so we now need to spend this summer sorting and getting rid of much "stuff".
Being a dreadful hoarder does come back to bite you eventually and this experience does teach you just how little you actually NEED!
Flea market, The Reuse Shop and the skip will all be well used. thumbs


I would like to again say such a big "Thank you" to friends who have helped and supported us through a tough time and also to those friends who are still storing precious items for us - all have given us what they can - help whilst we were flooding, muscle to move items, storage space, visits, 
kind words and opportunities to have a bit of fun to take our minds off all the worries. Party
     

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