Shocked residents thank emergency services after Christmas Day evacuation from flood-hit homes

Bournemouth Echo: Shocked residents thank emergency services after Christmas Day evacuation from flood-hit homes Shocked residents thank emergency services after Christmas Day evacuation from flood-hit homes

RESIDENTS evacuated from their homes at Iford Bridge and Christchurch’s Beaulieu Gardens Home Park have spoken of their shock and distress.

More than 100 people were evacuated in the early hours of Christmas Day from their homes after the River Stour burst its banks.

Around 30 are still being looked after at Boscombe Day Centre, with many already picked by family and friends.

A Christmas lunch has been provided free by Forerunner meals on wheels service in Southbourne.

Marion Pope, 64, said she was evacuated from her home with husband Patrick and Poppy the dog and Alfie the cat.

She said: “It was terrible we had a couple of minutes to get out. We haven’t brought anything just the clothes we are standing up in. It’s dreadful but at least we’re okay.

“I nearly drowned when I was little, so I’m terrified of water. It was probably more distressing for people in their 80s and 90s though.”

Henry Higgins, 92, said police knocked on his door at Iford Bridge around 4am.

“Two police officers carried me across the water. I’m fed up and want to go home", he said.

“Everyone has done a good job of looking after us though.”

Mr Higgins, a Second World War veteran who was in Burma with the Royal Artillery and also at Dunkirk, praised the emergency services, adding: “It’s the old Dunkirk spirit.”

Tim Branson service manager for Bournemouth Council’s Social Services department said they were first alerted at 2.45am.

He said some members of the team went straight to the park to help get it evacuated while others went to the day centre to get it ready.

“It was a really good effort by all the service including police and fire and the NHS to get everyone evacuated”, he said.

In total it took four hours to get the whole park cleared.

“We have a lot of shocked and distressed people. Some stayed away overnight and have come back to find the place has been flooded out.”

Most if not all the properties have been affected by water, the fire service has told him.

The high water levels were caused by a combination of high tide and heavy rain.

Mr Branson also praised the park home site’s evacuation plan.

Day centre manager Jenni Collis-Heavens said they had about 30 people, which was fewer than anticipated.

“The priority was to make sure they are warmed and fed and having all the medication they needed.

“Later today the priority is to make sure everyone who needs it has bed and breakfast accommodation.

“Everyone has pulled together fantastically.”

Muriel Hollis, 72, said: “We have been looked after tremendously. It’s all a bit of a shock.

“I’m looking forward to going home as soon as possible.”

She was being looked after by district nurse Amy Lee.

Comments (8)

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12:15pm Wed 25 Dec 13

stevobath says...

Iford has always flooded. That's the price you pay for living along that stretch.
I certainly would never be shocked. Various times I've seen the Caravan park flooded with homes floating away. Maybe they should put hulls on the bottom?

Still, not nice especially for the elderly.
Iford has always flooded. That's the price you pay for living along that stretch. I certainly would never be shocked. Various times I've seen the Caravan park flooded with homes floating away. Maybe they should put hulls on the bottom? Still, not nice especially for the elderly. stevobath

3:00pm Wed 25 Dec 13

sarlane says...

I remember the same thing happening to me back in 1981 (I think) when I lived there - it was called Cara Carvan Park then. But we were not so lucky as to be evacuated or have someone provide us with a meal - we had to fend for ourselves. I recall wading out through thigh-deep fast running water to reach my car which I hadhad the foresight to park on the pub car park on higher ground and I had an overnight bag packed ready as we knew the water was rising (this was just after Christmas). I was lucky to have family I could go and stay with in the month it took for the damage to be repaired - others were not so fortunate and the then site owners were not very helpful.

As for Stevobath's comment about "homes floating away" I never saw that and think that's a bit over the top. The Calor gas canisters did, but never the homes!
I remember the same thing happening to me back in 1981 (I think) when I lived there - it was called Cara Carvan Park then. But we were not so lucky as to be evacuated or have someone provide us with a meal - we had to fend for ourselves. I recall wading out through thigh-deep fast running water to reach my car which I hadhad the foresight to park on the pub car park on higher ground and I had an overnight bag packed ready as we knew the water was rising (this was just after Christmas). I was lucky to have family I could go and stay with in the month it took for the damage to be repaired - others were not so fortunate and the then site owners were not very helpful. As for Stevobath's comment about "homes floating away" I never saw that and think that's a bit over the top. The Calor gas canisters did, but never the homes! sarlane

6:12pm Wed 25 Dec 13

elaine191261 says...

sarlane wrote:
I remember the same thing happening to me back in 1981 (I think) when I lived there - it was called Cara Carvan Park then. But we were not so lucky as to be evacuated or have someone provide us with a meal - we had to fend for ourselves. I recall wading out through thigh-deep fast running water to reach my car which I hadhad the foresight to park on the pub car park on higher ground and I had an overnight bag packed ready as we knew the water was rising (this was just after Christmas). I was lucky to have family I could go and stay with in the month it took for the damage to be repaired - others were not so fortunate and the then site owners were not very helpful.

As for Stevobath's comment about "homes floating away" I never saw that and think that's a bit over the top. The Calor gas canisters did, but never the homes!
I remember that ,it was in 1979 ,my parents still live across the other side ,it came up so quick ,up through the drains then into the house I was just going out for night on the town and I had to stay home !! we had over 4ft of water there for couple of days ,as for the caravan site I'm sorry but if they want to live right on the edge like that ,I that's their problem ,always been a problem!! ,and they still moan about others paying for flood protection for them ,they have actually said that ! But it is a shame and I do feel sorry ,but they've got to think is it worth it every year.?i still live in Iford so I know what. I'm talking about
[quote][p][bold]sarlane[/bold] wrote: I remember the same thing happening to me back in 1981 (I think) when I lived there - it was called Cara Carvan Park then. But we were not so lucky as to be evacuated or have someone provide us with a meal - we had to fend for ourselves. I recall wading out through thigh-deep fast running water to reach my car which I hadhad the foresight to park on the pub car park on higher ground and I had an overnight bag packed ready as we knew the water was rising (this was just after Christmas). I was lucky to have family I could go and stay with in the month it took for the damage to be repaired - others were not so fortunate and the then site owners were not very helpful. As for Stevobath's comment about "homes floating away" I never saw that and think that's a bit over the top. The Calor gas canisters did, but never the homes![/p][/quote]I remember that ,it was in 1979 ,my parents still live across the other side ,it came up so quick ,up through the drains then into the house I was just going out for night on the town and I had to stay home !! we had over 4ft of water there for couple of days ,as for the caravan site I'm sorry but if they want to live right on the edge like that ,I that's their problem ,always been a problem!! ,and they still moan about others paying for flood protection for them ,they have actually said that ! But it is a shame and I do feel sorry ,but they've got to think is it worth it every year.?i still live in Iford so I know what. I'm talking about elaine191261

10:41pm Wed 25 Dec 13

Alumchiner says...

WELL DONE THE POLICE and the fire brigade and helpers, good work guys
WELL DONE THE POLICE and the fire brigade and helpers, good work guys Alumchiner

11:18pm Wed 25 Dec 13

s-pb2 says...

Alumchiner wrote:
WELL DONE THE POLICE and the fire brigade and helpers, good work guys
Lets also not forget the council workers who were there at 2.45am on Christmas morning and running the day centre.
[quote][p][bold]Alumchiner[/bold] wrote: WELL DONE THE POLICE and the fire brigade and helpers, good work guys[/p][/quote]Lets also not forget the council workers who were there at 2.45am on Christmas morning and running the day centre. s-pb2

11:37pm Wed 25 Dec 13

stevobath says...

sarlane wrote:
I remember the same thing happening to me back in 1981 (I think) when I lived there - it was called Cara Carvan Park then. But we were not so lucky as to be evacuated or have someone provide us with a meal - we had to fend for ourselves. I recall wading out through thigh-deep fast running water to reach my car which I hadhad the foresight to park on the pub car park on higher ground and I had an overnight bag packed ready as we knew the water was rising (this was just after Christmas). I was lucky to have family I could go and stay with in the month it took for the damage to be repaired - others were not so fortunate and the then site owners were not very helpful.

As for Stevobath's comment about "homes floating away" I never saw that and think that's a bit over the top. The Calor gas canisters did, but never the homes!
I have a photo of a home floating. I took the photo from a small dinghy, launched from the top of the lane coming down from Iford Lane. I lived in the area for most of my life & seen it flooded many times.

So no, it's not over the top, although it may have been a caravan? I'll have to dig the photo out & have a look. Either way, living in that area known for flooding I don't see why it's such a shock when it floods? I'm surprised the whole park hasn't slipped into the river. Insurance must be hard to get & very pricey, all for living in a trailer park!
[quote][p][bold]sarlane[/bold] wrote: I remember the same thing happening to me back in 1981 (I think) when I lived there - it was called Cara Carvan Park then. But we were not so lucky as to be evacuated or have someone provide us with a meal - we had to fend for ourselves. I recall wading out through thigh-deep fast running water to reach my car which I hadhad the foresight to park on the pub car park on higher ground and I had an overnight bag packed ready as we knew the water was rising (this was just after Christmas). I was lucky to have family I could go and stay with in the month it took for the damage to be repaired - others were not so fortunate and the then site owners were not very helpful. As for Stevobath's comment about "homes floating away" I never saw that and think that's a bit over the top. The Calor gas canisters did, but never the homes![/p][/quote]I have a photo of a home floating. I took the photo from a small dinghy, launched from the top of the lane coming down from Iford Lane. I lived in the area for most of my life & seen it flooded many times. So no, it's not over the top, although it may have been a caravan? I'll have to dig the photo out & have a look. Either way, living in that area known for flooding I don't see why it's such a shock when it floods? I'm surprised the whole park hasn't slipped into the river. Insurance must be hard to get & very pricey, all for living in a trailer park! stevobath

10:03am Thu 26 Dec 13

speedy231278 says...

It's the same in Sussex where I come from. They keep building stuff on flood plains, or beside the built-up banks of the river Arun, and then people wonder why they can't get home insurance and their houses or caravans get flooded every time we have bad weather. Typical greedy land owners and developers taking advantage of the common person.
It's the same in Sussex where I come from. They keep building stuff on flood plains, or beside the built-up banks of the river Arun, and then people wonder why they can't get home insurance and their houses or caravans get flooded every time we have bad weather. Typical greedy land owners and developers taking advantage of the common person. speedy231278

12:40pm Thu 26 Dec 13

kalebmoledirt says...

Who on earth gave permission and licence to put a caravan park on what is historically a flood plain.it is deliberately putting people's lives in danger not to mention those that respond to a what seems a regular event close it down and create moorings for house boats
Who on earth gave permission and licence to put a caravan park on what is historically a flood plain.it is deliberately putting people's lives in danger not to mention those that respond to a what seems a regular event close it down and create moorings for house boats kalebmoledirt

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