The owners of an independent shoe store which lost about £60,000 worth of stock in Storm Babet say the flooding may be the "final straw" for them and may lead to closure.

Donna and Dave Hammond, of Castle Shoes in Albert Place in Framlingham, now have stock covered in mould and sewage after toilets overflowed amid the devastating weather of Friday, October 20.

The business was forced to close its shop in Albert Place, a few doors down from Framlingham Post Office, and will have to remain shut for an estimated six months.

Five weeks since the storm, the couple say they have not yet receive any financial support from East Suffolk Council – despite local authorities promising support for businesses after recent floods.

The floods have been "heart-breaking" for the owners, as the shop has been described as “the dream” of Mrs Hammond.

A shoe shop has been operating at the site in Framlingham for decades, but the current owners have expressed their fears over the future due to the impact of the storm.

The Hammonds' comments come as Central Suffolk and North Ipswich MP Dr Dan Poulter has hit out at East Suffolk Council, accusing the authority of being too slow to provide financial support to residents and businesses affected by the floods.

East Suffolk leader Caroline Topping has said the council is "working tirelessly" to get cash to those affected.

East Anglian Daily Times: Flooding inside Castle ShoesFlooding inside Castle Shoes (Image: Hammond family)

Mr Hammond said of the day of Storm Babet: "It was a normal working day. Donna went into work, but the water was getting high at around 10am and asked me to bring sandbags. At 11am, she was told to evacuate the shop by the town council.

"It took us 40 minutes to get home. We live in Framlingham but couldn't cross any of the roads as they had turned into rivers. It was horrific.

East Anglian Daily Times: Flood damage and mould at the shopFlood damage and mould at the shop (Image: Hammond family)

East Anglian Daily Times: The storm damaged around £60,000 worth of stockThe storm damaged around £60,000 worth of stock (Image: Hammond family)

"I managed to get down to the shop around 3pm and by that time boxes were floating inside the shop, and I knew by that point we had been hit quite badly.

"The most upsetting thing for Donna is that she had just that day had a new delivery of autumn and winter stock. It wasn't even put out yet.”

Framlingham was particularly badly hit in the storm. The Post Office also flooded but was able to reopen earlier this month in a new location.

Mr Hammond added: “My wife cannot open or clear up until insurance assessors attend, but others have been able to reopen. She gets quite upset walking past the shop. It's heart-breaking and could be the final straw.

“It's the mental impact, but the support from customers has been fantastic. We have had so many offers of help.”

East Anglian Daily Times:

East Anglian Daily Times: Donna and Dave HammondDonna and Dave Hammond (Image: Hammond family)

A spokesman from East Suffolk Council said: "East Suffolk Council is working hard with partners in Suffolk and Central Government to ensure that the delivery of the Government’s flood grant funding process is as straightforward and speedy as possible.

"There are two funding streams for businesses and we have recently received the final complete package of guidance from the Department of Business and Trade which will allow us to progress the flood recovery funding for businesses.

"Compared to the residents schemes, there are more stringent Data Protection and Fraud compliance requirements to address and complete the processing of funds.

"Businesses will be contacted directly and the Anglia Revenues Partnership, who will process Business Rate Relief claims on our behalf, will be undertaking visits next week to begin the process of confirming eligibility.

"The Council entirely understands how stressful this situation has been for so many people and working in partnership with Suffolk County Council and other districts and boroughs in Suffolk, we are working to ensure that payments will be made soon."