WITH sandbags still standing guard outside doors, Ham-worthy flood victims are hoping this weekend’s spring tides will not be accompanied by wind and rain.
Then the vulnerable homes at Fisherman’s Wharf at the bottom of Blandford Road, Poole – six flats and three houses – stand the chance of escaping another torrent.
“It was like a river running through Blandford Road,” said John Ruddock, whose ground floor flat was the worst affected as speeding drivers sent waves of water through homes.
On the evening of Valentine’s Day water raced across the road from the direction of Sydenham’s yard, rising to above knee height and threatening homes whose front doors are right on the pavement.
“Drivers were speeding through the water and pushing the water through the doors,” said Narinder Chadha, who lives with his wife Nina in a Grade II-listed house.
“They were not driving slowly. I tried to get them to slow down.”
With sea water flooding in through the doors, this is a repeat of 2008, after which it took him two years and a very high excess, before he could get insurance cover again.
Although the government is offering £5,000 grants from April 1 to improve a property’s resistance to flooding, Mr Chadha said he was not sure this would help. “You can’t change anything to the property – it’s listed,” he said.
John and Melanie Ruddock had to evacuate their children Megan, nearly four, and Chloe, 2½, as the waters rose.
He said they had to buy their own sandbags to barricade the doors and as dehumidifiers dried the living room they had just finished redecorating, they face at least six months in rented accommodation.
A councillor’s concern
Hamworthy councillor Charmaine Parkinson and Borough of Poole officers have visited the families to give them help and advice about government schemes for flood victims.
“Residents are really upset and they are angry that nothing happened since 2008,” said Cllr Parkinson.
“I really do feel for them, I’m trying to do what I can to support them. I have written to the MP and the EA and the borough.”
More information about schemes to help victims is available at resilience.ad firstname.lastname@example.org.