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Flood-hit Muchelney families unable to return home before Christmas

By Western Gazette - South Somerset  |  Posted: December 15, 2012

  • Mike and Jenny Curtis of Thorney Moor Farm with their dog Fred and furniture outside their home which was damaged by floodwater

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A major clean up is under way in a flood-hit village near Langport – but some families will not be able to return to their homes for Christmas.

Muchelney was cut off for two weeks but now the water has gone down residents are left with the full devastation of their properties.

Jenny Curtis, her husband Mike and two children have gone to stay with her family nearby as they will not be able to return to their home in Thorney for Christmas.

She said: “The house is not going to be fixed until around April. We have to dry the whole house out, take the plaster off the walls and redecorate.

“We thought the kitchen floor was going to be OK but that has got to come up. We’ve got no floors left downstairs.

“It is quite stressful. I haven’t written any Christmas cards yet because I have to clear the house.

“The insurance has taken care of it all but I dread to think what our premiums are going to be like next year.

“We are not going to be back in our own home for Christmas but a lot of people are a lot worse off. We have not lost anything irreplaceable like photographs.”

She said that in the new year they plan to live in a caravan on their drive and sleep in their beds upstairs in the house.

Mrs Curtis’ father, Richard England, said: “Most things are back to normal but there are about nine houses in our little hamlet where the water is out but they are nowhere near dry.

“It seems the more modern houses are taking longer to dry out than the older ones.

“There could be about seven or eight people who won’t be back home for Christmas.

“One or two people haven’t moved out and are just living upstairs – but it’s the stink of the water that is so bad.”

John Leach of Muchelney Pottery lives and works in the village and said that despite only having about six inches of water in his property the cost of the flooding has been huge.

He said: “It was pretty traumatic at the time and we have lost a lot of things.

“Our appliances are no good anymore and the soft furnishings have been ruined. The water was black and contaminated because we all have septic tanks around here.”

Mr Leach has been forced to live in the upstairs of his home but he said he hopes to get the use of his downstairs back before Christmas.

His business is now open again but he had to suspend production.

He said: “We opened properly last week but we were closed for around 10 days.

“We’ve had no sales for about two weeks which is not good for business, particularly at this time of year.”

The main road into the village from Langport is still under water but the road from Kingsbury Episcopi is now passable.

Flooding grants are availthrough Somerset Community Foundation. For details visit www.somersetcf.org.uk.

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