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Somerset Levels floods cost uninsured businessman £1m

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: March 13, 2014

  • Neil Craddock stands inside his Wood Flooring Engineered workshop in Burrowbridge

  • The scene of devastation, with £250,000 of timber ruined

  • Neil Craddock's business at the height of the flooding

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A businessman whose factory was flooded under 10ft of water today returned to a scene of devastation - £1 million of damage that is uninsured.

Neil Craddock runs Wood Flooring Engineered, a specialist firm which has been based in Burrowbridge on the Somerset Levels for the last 10 years.

But the factory has spent the whole of 2014 under up to 10ft of water - wrecking the company's expensive equipment and stock.

Mr Craddock, 64, returned to the site for the first time since flood waters have receded to find £250,000 of timber ruined, with total losses running up to £1 million.

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The businessman said: "It was a mangled mess of wood, machinery and debris.

"No one thought this would happen. The water was ten-foot deep in the factory, you can see the watermark. The place is a terrible mess.

"People talk about floods, but until you see the actual devastation you don't really understand.

"We've been numbed by the experience, it's unbelievable. I don't think anyone can really prepare for what's happened.

Mr Craddock says the value of timber ruined is £250,000, while machinery is worth an additional £600,000 - with the money coming out of his own pocket.

He added: "The total loss is going to be around £1 million and we've got no insurance. After last year's floods we couldn't get cover.

"We haven't been able to do anything since Christmas, but we are open for business again and have a good order book. Our customers have been very sympathetic.

"We've rented a factory to get back to production. We might be able to salvage a bit, but it's a case of wait and see."

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  • Barri  |  March 13 2014, 2:05PM

    Terrible news - terrible losses. Time for some more "secret" meetings with the Government and ABI.

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