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Flash floods leave farm shop knee-deep in rain water

PUBLISHED: 14:57 14 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:12 14 August 2020

Severe flooding hit Ben and Ella's Farm Shop at Stoke by Clare yesterday during the storm. Picture: ELLA SMART

Severe flooding hit Ben and Ella's Farm Shop at Stoke by Clare yesterday during the storm. Picture: ELLA SMART

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Flash floods have caused £10,000 worth of damage at a Suffolk farm shop, after waters levels rose to knee height in the wake of a major rain storm.

Ella Smart and Ben Clark opened Ben and Ella's Farm Shop at Baynthorne Hall last year. Picture: ELLA SMARTElla Smart and Ben Clark opened Ben and Ella's Farm Shop at Baynthorne Hall last year. Picture: ELLA SMART

A deluge of rain, brought on by storms that are set to continue for the next four days, caused a wave of knee-deep water to surge into Ben and Ella’s Farm shop at Baynthorne Hall, near Stoke by Clare, on Thursday, August 13.

Though the water subsided just half an hour later, there was another minor flood the next morning.

Damage to the shop is far reaching and produce has been ruined, forcing the owners to close for several days.

Ella Smart, who co-owns the business with her friend Ben Clark, got in to work at 8.30am and said the waters had suddenly come flooding in through the back of the shop an hour later.

Ben and Ella's Farm Shop at Baynthorne Hall last year. Picture: ELLA SMARTBen and Ella's Farm Shop at Baynthorne Hall last year. Picture: ELLA SMART

“We felt so helpless watching it and it was horrendous because nothing can prepare you for a flash flood like that,” she said.

“All the local farmers were amazing, they came over with their tractors and we used them to get the water out by standing with buckets and chucking it in the scoop.

“The firefighters also came over to evaluate the situation yesterday and we’ve now pumped the drains.”

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She continued: “I have three dehumidifiers in the shop right now to try and dry out some of the moisture in and under the floor – I really hope the floorboards don’t warp and we don’t know if the underneath is damaged yet either.”

The shop opened in early 2019 and had reported a stellar first year in business, selling local produce, running an artisan bakery and operating a gift shop.

Ella, 24, said their customers, numbers of which grew significantly during lockdown as people came to rely on them, has been fabulous in their support for the business which has perked up her spirits.

Severe flooding hit Ben and Ella's Farm Shop yesterday during the storm. Picture: ELLA SMARTSevere flooding hit Ben and Ella's Farm Shop yesterday during the storm. Picture: ELLA SMART

Yesterday she said: “It was a relief at least to come in to a dry shop today,” she added. “But we’re staying closed today and tomorrow to clean up.

“I think we’ve lost at least £5,000 in contents and then the business interruption for yesterday, today and tomorrow will be another £4-5,000.”

The shop has stocked up on sand as a precaution for the days ahead and luckily the gift shop wasn’t flooded.

Ben and Ella are hoping to reopen next week as the farm shop is usually closed on Sundays and Mondays.

Severe flooding hit Ben and Ella's Farm Shop yesterday during the storm. Picture: ELLA SMARTSevere flooding hit Ben and Ella's Farm Shop yesterday during the storm. Picture: ELLA SMART


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