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Tuesday, 02 September 2014

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Mother’s frustration as triple flood ruins treasured items

A Harrington woman is devastated after her home was flooded three times over Christmas and some of her most treasured possessions ruined.

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WATER DAMAGE: Claire O’Donnell in the cellar of her home on Rose Hill, in Harrington, which was flooded three times during Christmas and New Year

Claire O’Donnell, 47, of Rose Hill, was left without power or heating when her cellar was filled with six feet of water.

Firefighters and the Environment Agency were called out on December 30 and twice on New Year’s Day to pump water from the cellars of eight houses on Rose Hill.

A culvert, which runs beneath the houses and nearby railway line, has been blocked.

The Environment Agency has been digging on land nearby to try to get access to the culvert.

Mrs O’Donnell has lived at her house for 16 years with her daughter Jade, 19.

The flood water disconnected her boiler and electricity meter in the cellar.

The electricity was restored after three days but she is still waiting for her heating to be fixed.

The flood also destroyed treasured possessions, including around 200 vinyl records, furniture, speakers and bicycles.

She said: “I have a lot of memories and treasured items down here but they are gone and there isn’t a lot I can do about it.”

Neighbour David Armstrong, 35, also had possessions damaged in his cellar, where he stored items including a freezer, tumble dryer and power tools.

He has lived there for eight years. He said the house had been in his family for more than 60 years and this was the first time it had flooded.

He said: “The water was up to my neck. I was stunned and shocked.

“The fire service was excellent but there was nothing they could do. The water was coming in faster than they could get it out.”

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “There has been a blockage to a culvert to Harrington. We are working closely with Allerdale council, Cumbria County Council and Network Rail to find a solution.”

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