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"It was like a tsunami" - Post Office devastated by flash flood

20 Jun 2020, 13:04 ... -1-6709317


A devastating flash flood caused by a torrential rainstorm has caused major damage to Sicklesmere Post Office and the family home of its owners.


Caroline and Daryn Reffell watched as a torrent of water engulfed their shop up to knee height this week.

The fire service was called and pumped water out of their shop into the nearby river.

The extent of the damage is being assessed and it is not known how long their business will be closed.

Mrs Reffell said: “It had been a normal day and we were serving customers.

“My husband commented that a storm was coming and I said ‘Oh, I love a storm’.

“I went to make a cup of coffee. Then my husband starts shouting about a flood.

“I hurried back to see white water rapids rushing into the shop. It was like a tsunami.

“There was nothing we could do. The water came in right up my knees. It was so unexpected - it wasn’t even raining that hard.

“One daughter was upstairs working and she came rushing down when she heard me screaming.

“The fire brigade came out really quickly and pumped the water into the nearby river, which was not at capacity. They were brilliant.

“Everywhere is now brown and muddy. It has done so much damage. I managed to grab family videos that we’d just transferred onto DVDs just before the water level reached them.

“One of our cars outside was also swamped with water.”

An investigation is being held into the cause of the flood as there has been no flooding since the 1970s when the river was diverted, and there is a question over whether drains had been blocked.

Those needing to access a Post Office can use alternative stores in the area including Cockfield and Felsham.

Mrs Reffell added: “We have been here six years. We love this village as the community is wonderful.

“Lots of people have popped in including the vicar with flasks of coffee and cake.

“People have been offering to help with the clean-up, lending dehumidifiers or assisting with communications as we have no power downstairs.

“A local artist also did a drawing to cheer us up. Post Office has been very supportive too.

“What a year it has been.”

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