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Kirby family forced to flee their Moorland home on flooded Somerset Levels

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: February 10, 2014

Mark and Kate Kirby with their children Dominic, 16, Georgina, 14, and Theo, 10, have been forced to abandon their flooded home in Moorland, Somerset. They are one of the last families to leave the village, which residents now believe will be completely lost to the water. Mark, 44, a wholesale fruit supplier, said his four-bedroom detached home was 150 years old – and this was the first time in its history it had flooded

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This is the heartbreaking moment a family abandoned their flooded home – with no idea when they will be able to return.

Mark and Kate Kirby were evacuated from their £250,000 detached house in Moorland, Somerset, in the dead of night at the weekend.

Environment Agency officials ordered them to leave at 2am as the defences in the stricken village were overrun by floodwater. The devastated couple and their three children – Dominic, 16, Georgina, 14, and Theo, 10 – grabbed a few belongings and spent the night in a hired holiday cottage nearby.

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They returned the following day to salvage what they could and found the floodwater had risen a further three feet.

The sight of their hard-earned belongings floating in the filthy brown water proved too much for some of them.

Mark, 44, a wholesale fruit supplier, said his four-bedroom detached home was 150 years old – and this was the first time in its history it had flooded.

He said: "We'd managed to hold out for nearly six weeks, since the floods first started, but finally had to give up. We've managed to find a place to rent nearby on higher ground for a week, but it's going to be months before we are able to move back home.

"We've been one of the last ones to hold out against the floods but now there's only about half a dozen properties in the village left out of around 100. It was awful, absolutely awful having to evacuate but we had no option.

"We've managed to grab some clothes and things from upstairs, but everything downstairs is ruined."

A humanitarian charity that normally helps in foreign disaster zones has gone to Somerset to offer support.

Khalsa Aid said they had acted after seeing TV reports of the floods. They are distributing bottled water, food, warm clothing and antiseptic fluid and helping people move their furniture and load sandbags. Previously the Sikh charity has helped people in the Philippines affected by Typhoon Haiyan and those in Haiti trying to recover from the devastating earthquake of 2010.

Ravi Singh, from the Slough-based charity, said they felt it was important to help out close to home, as well as abroad.

He said: "These are our countrymen who are in dire need. I never knew the amount of devastation until we drove around to get to this place. The fields are like lakes. It's unbelievable, how will they recover from this disaster? We all need to pull together."

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