Our work offices are close to the town centre and about 200 metres from the river. We took the decision to put as much as possible on the first floor - and pile everything else on the desks. Better safe than sorry - but there was still part of us that thought we might be over-reacting.
It wasn't until I got to the Dabsi Sports Arena and realised that this was to be one of the 'evacuation centres' that it struck me that this might actually be happening. My boys had swimming lessons there - and I didn't even consider not taking them to be honest. The car park was full of buses and coaches waiting to be dispatched later on in the evening. There were a handful of people on fluorescent jackets milling around looking 'busy'. Parents of the swimmers of course discussed the imminent floods - and updates came flooding through via Facebook. We realised then that this actually had the potential of being quite serious.
I went home, and watched the evening's events unfurl via the wonders of Facebook and Twitter. As the evening progressed - we realised that this was serious - and was really happening.
We hoped and prayed that our office would be OK - we are a relatively small business and know the impact that this could have had on our business - and consequently businesses around us.
|John Adam's Way|
|Bottom of Spayne Road / York Street / Football ground|
We tried to remain positive. My parents live close to town but luckily well away from the river. They decided to wander into the area to see whether they could help and naturally we asked them to check on the office. We had indeed been lucky - we seemed to be part of a small 'island' almost surrounded by water. We had escaped. We were the lucky ones. We are thankful and relived.
Others were not so lucky. A friends Beauty Business was one of the first to be flooded. Her Facebook update just read 'gutted :('. My heart sank as I know how hard she has worked to get a successful business going....and it's a great business. My Dad phoned me, he has a house which is flats - it was flooded. Water over his wellies. The downstairs ruined. It may not be where my parent's live but it is still too close to home - he has some great tenants - they didn't deserve this. No one did.
The pictures which appeared on Social Media said it all. So many areas were affected - this was not just a pocket of flooding. Families were evacuated from their houses and I can only begin to imagine just how frightening this must have been for these families. I have put below lots of photos I have collected over the last few days - largely as a memory as to what happened and how bad it was. I will be adding to these photos as time progresses.
|Outside the Stump|
|Spayne Lane - Blackfriars|
|B & M Bargains (used to be Hillards / Kwik Save years ago)|
|Castle Street? Oxford Street? Anyone help?|
|The White Heart|
|From Sluice Bridge|
|Even children got involved!|
|Donations of Christmas gifts for children|
|Unitarian - Spayne Road|
|Zion - Brothertoft Road|
|Town Bridge - the aftermath|
|The Stump - cellars still flooded|