March 16 2014 Latest news:
Tuesday, December 10, 2013
One Suffolk village is still on the road to recovery after houses, fields and businesses were flooded by the storm surge.
Snape yesterday remained split in two by an impassable pool of water cloaking the bridge that passes across the River Alde.
It is thought that the water overtopped the north bank by almost half a metre for up to three hours in the early hours of Friday morning, flooding the road and surrounding fields.
As the river wall held, water was unable to drain from the marshes, washing away a hoggin footpath which could not stand up to the flood.
About 50 acres of land was under water at the height of the surge, drowning poultry and destroying stock and kitchen equipment at The Crown Inn, where Garry and Teresa Cook have been landlords since December 2007.
As the clean-up continued at the pub yesterday, Mr Cook said: “It’s going slowly. We’re just having to clear everything up.
“There are the financial implications of being shut, the nonexistent cash flow, bills to be paid – staff not being paid.”
The Crown rears its own goats, sheep, lambs, turkeys, ducks, geese and chickens, and is also home to prize-winning Gloucester Old Spot pigs.
Most of the animals were saved from the flood, but only a handful of the pub’s 44 turkeys survived.
Mr Cook said: “We were helped by lots of people in getting much of the livestock moved. We sandbagged the outside of the building and did the best we could. We stacked the freezers outside on pallets, but even that wasn’t enough.
“The chickens got into a tree and roosted there. One even got on top of the coop as it floated away.”
The couple had stuffed straw bales inside a barn that housed their turkeys, hoping to provide higher ground for the birds, but the water was still too high.
They suspect that spillage from barrels of cooking oil, waiting to be recycled, drenched the birds’ feathers and rendered them immobile.
Mr and Mrs Cook thanked everyone who had helped since the flood for their unceasing generosity, including staff, friends, local farmers and suppliers, agricultural clubs and societies. It is thought the pub will be closed for about two weeks, but the goal is to be open in time for Christmas.
Neighbouring homeowner Barrie Rodgers is still without a phone connection and is waiting for a loss adjuster to work out the total value of damage to his property, which was flooded by about two feet of water.
“It has been difficult,” he said. “We’re still without a phone connection and all we can do at the moment is clean.
“Our home appliances are full of saltwater and ruined, the kitchen floor will have to come up and there are cupboards we haven’t yet dared to open.
“We have had a great deal of help from the community. We’re thinking of forming the Snape Subaqua Club and meeting once a week!”
Mr Rodgers said the real hero of the hour was their 14-year-old dog Sam who, in spite of poor sight and lost hearing, was able to paddle from the kitchen and stay afloat while the family’s other dog, Angus, climbed to the second stair and woke the rest of the sleeping household.
n On the other side of the bridge it was business as usual at Snape Maltings, which has remained open to customers and accessible by turning off the A12 at Wickham Market and reaching the Maltings via Tunstall.