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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Couple Unsure of What to Do With Flood Cellar

A RETIRED couple say they are at their wits’ end after the latest downpours forced them to pump water out of their flooded cellar in the dead of night.
Jeanette and George Lawson were woken when the latest deluge poured into their rented home in Galgate, Barnard Castle.
They had to had to get dressed and start pumping the water out straight away.
Mrs Lawson, who has a heart condition, said: “It’s a fair height when it gets going. Last time it was raining in faster than I could pump. And when it stops and the water goes away we’re left with all the silt and mess.”
Mrs Lawson said the cellar had never flooded until a major water main pipe burst in July 2008, flooding dozens of homes and businesses in the town.
The Lawson’s home is owned by Roger Peat who also lives at the property and used to run the butchers next door. He said: “When the main first burst the cellar filled up with water and since then, when there’s any major rainfall, it floods again.” Mr Peat said he had contacted Northumbria Water but was told the recent flooding was not its responsibility.
When the main pipe burst in 2008 the Lawsons lost hundreds of pounds worth of property as they were using the cellar for storage and white goods.
Mrs Lawson said: “We lost our fridge freezer, a carpet cleaner, lots of baby stuff – it was all jiggered.”
Mr Lawson was secretary of Eggleston Show for many years and, luckily, paper documents belonging to the show were stored on top shelves of the cellar.
The latest flood has taken its toll on the couple who have had to ask friends to help them pump the water away.
Mrs Lawson said: “We’ve been trying to cope but I’m worried about the long-term effect it will have on the house. We spent three hours last time pumping the water out, non-stop.
“We went for a coffee but by the time we got back it was filling up again so we were down there another hour. I have a hole in my heart and this stress doesn’t help it at all. We’re at out wits’ end.”
A spokesperson for Northumbrian Water said: “We have been to the property and carried out extensive investigations which showed the water in the cellar was a private issue and not the responsibility of Northumbrian Water.”

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