Bridgewater Tackle Flooding
The build up to Christmas 2015 was a typical affair with the hustle and bustle of parents grabbing last minute gifts for their loved ones. We had just began to highlight the stock for the upcoming January Sale and opening offers of the new year. What came after the turkey had been cleared away was not on any Christmas planning list. On Boxing Day storm warnings were issued throughout the North of the UK and many homes especially in the North East were already under water. We got the call the morning after from the landlord. The whole site, including our shop was inaccessible and completely swamped with water.
This video shows the scale of the devastation, our shop is centre of picture at around 42secs.
As you can see the devastation was widespread. While few homes were affected businesses including stables, the Lymm Piano Business, the Caddick’s Nursery site and Lymm Golf Course were all inundated. Water was 3ft throughout the shop and from the aftermath it looks like a wave of water swept throughout the property. From front to back stock, boxes and shelving were washed up against the back wall. Lets just get some perspective here, I mentioned water coming into the building, buts lets just think about what type of water it was. We now know that this was run off from the Manchester Ship Canal. However, before coming into our shop, it had to go over the fields containing animal waste, wash through the garden nursery and over the sceptic tanks. Worse of all the portaloos at the back of the property used for the workers on the site, had upended and the contents gone.
As you can see with the tide marks on the wall, the height of the water was spectacular. It seems like the decision was taken further up the Manchester Ship Canal to open a gate, in an attempt to protect the threaten Salford Quays and the Lowry complex. That decision proved to be our downfall as the Locks system in Latchford was deluged with the excess water and with nowhere to go it ran off into the nearest floodplain. Everything along that length of fields was taken out and was under water within minutes. The damage to the shop was horrendous we had taken extra stock in to prepare for the January Sales and the although this is designed for use outside, the contamination and smell just isn’t healthy.
Not only was the stock caught up in the mayhem, but the building took a beating too. With no electricity or heating the condensation was building and stock which wasn’t flooded had quickly become damp. The decision was taken to vacate the building and the stock. We had only moved in 4 months earlier and after so much time and effort getting it just right, this was going to take a mammoth effort to resurrect it again. We stripped the shop down to the carcass and searched for new premises.
Only 6 weeks later we are opening again, trying to rebuild our reputation and customer base. Only time will tell whether this was the right decision, but unless you have been through such a devastating event, it has been one of the hardest things for me and my family to go through. Onwards and upwards.