A COUPLE from Poole, left “desperate” after flooding destroyed their family home, are appealing for temporary caravan access following days spent stuck outside.

For nearly two weeks, Jacqui and Paul Bates of Bushell Road in Fleetsbridge have been forced to spend their days sat by their front porch after a “tidal wave” of flooding destroyed all their electric and heating utilities last Monday.

With no access to kitchen facilities, heating, internet or lighting, the couple are living off takeaways and are only entering the house to use the bathroom and sleep upstairs.

Jacqui and Paul, who both have disabilities, are now hopeful that someone could allow them access to a caravan for at least two months, enabling them to stay on their home grounds whilst insurance payments and reparation plans are complete.

Paul said: “Our insurance company said that they will look into us getting some temporary accommodation but we’re desperate to stay here on site, not just because this is our home, but for two important reasons.

“First, there’s been dreadful looting on properties across the road where neighbours have suffered flooding, been moved out and people have taken advantage by looting. The only way that we can avoid something like that happening to us is to stay on site.

“Secondly, one of our cats, Bobby, disappeared during the floods. A neighbour said he saw our Bobby sprinting down the road when the rain was torrential, and we haven’t seen him since. We’re worried that we probably won’t again so we’d love to stay on site so we can be here if he finds his way home.

Paul added: “A motor home or caravan like vehicle would be ideal, just to give us somewhere to sit during the day, shaded, air conditioned and protected. We wouldn’t drive it anywhere, it would just be here for a month or two.

“If somebody somewhere could offer us something like this it would be absolutely beyond words, truly fantastic.”

Jacqui, who suffers from epilepsy, said: “I know it may sound silly, but you can only sit on these plastic chairs outside for so long. We’ve got nowhere to go if it gets colder or rains during the day other than our bedroom, so we’re in desperate hope that someone can help us.”

Costs for the motor home or caravan would be covered by the insurance company.

The couple are currently unable to use their garden which was left “a complete and utter wreck” by water damage, causing an injury to Jacqui. She said: “I tried to make a path for us but slipped and landed on a log. I couldn’t get up and thought I’d broken my wrist. I have a massive swollen knee and a large cut, so we’re in a bit of a state.”

A GoFundMe for the couple raised £900 in the aftermath of the flood, and an emotional Jacqui thanked those who donated, saying: “I’m still shocked, people have given so generously. People who we don’t even know have donated incredible amounts, so we just want to say thank you.”

Jacqui added that the money raised for them would go into damaged parts of the house not covered by the insurance.

Wessex Water attended the home and ensured that the plumbing water was uncontaminated. They also told Jacqui and Paul that the flooding to the property could have been much worse had a nearby underpass on Fleetsbridge roundabout not been there. They said the excess water that flooded the underpass would have gone straight into their home.

At the time, a BCP Council spokesperson said: “Council staff will be in contact with Mrs Bates so we can get as much detail as possible regarding the flooding to her property.”

Jacqui confirmed that a council representative has been in touch with the couple.

Despite their situation, the Mr and Mrs Bates remain positive, with Paul saying: “It will get sorted out eventually and we’ll get through, we’ll be alright.”

If you are able to help, contact: msp4eva@hotmail.co.uk.