Residents evacuated from Ferndown caravan park could remain homeless until New Year (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Residents evacuated from Ferndown caravan park could remain homeless until New Year
RESIDENTS evacuated from Gladelands Caravan Park are beginning to return to their flood-stricken homes.
Around 200 people were rescued from the Ferndown site on Christmas Eve after it was submerged in water.
However, it is believed that many will be left homeless until the New Year because of the damage caused by the deluge, and there are concerns that a number of properties will need to be knocked down.
Among those most badly affected are Maureen and Terry Steele, 67 and 75, who fear they may be away from their home for “up to a year”.
The couple were forced to clear out their home in wellington boots, with furniture, clothes and even their new bed soaked in river water.
Maureen said: “It's just awful.
“Everything is ruined. We have no idea where we're going to go until it's all sorted. We've been told to send hotel bills to the insurance company but who can afford that? It's just horrendous here.”
Lee and Georgina Foord, who were given a lift off the park in a fire engine, have said they will “always remember” Christmas 2013.
“We need to thank so many people for making a bad situation bearable,” Mrs Foord, 72, said.
“The response was absolutely amazing.”
Residents were taken to the Barrington Centre before staying at the Bridge House Hotel.
Staff stayed later to ensure those forced to leave their homes had a Christmas lunch to look forward to.
Electrical contractors also worked on Boxing Day to return power to the homes at the park.
Although it was initially believed that the floods were caused by surface water following heavy rain, residents have now been told that a fallen tree and debris in the Moors River is behind the damage.
Some residents were evacuated by a rubber dinghy after the floods continued to rise during Christmas Eve.
Linda Seabrook, 63, has had to sponge out the floor and seats of her car after it was caught in the water.
“The flood came up over the seats,” she said.
“Today we're all just bailing out and trying to make everywhere nice again.”
Albert Ball, 73, has been living at the site for 30 years.
“I've never seen anything like it,” he said.
“The garage doors have buckled because of the weight of the water.”
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