EVESHAM IN FLOOD, EASTER 1998

Normal view from the same position

View from my house 8.30am 'Good' Friday 10th
April. Nb One Moore, can be seen in the background

Ist posting, Thursday April 9th 16.37GMT
Hi All,
As I sit here typing this, the River Avon has just burst its banks in Evesham. Water everywhere and its still raining hard. Nb One Moore is o.k. at present but it's a bit worrying, watching it rise up and being unable to get at her should she slip her poles on the mooring.
Keep your fingers crossed.

2nd posting, Friday April 10th, 10.37GMT
Hi All,
Yesterday at 4pm I told you of the River Avon  bursting its banks and Nb One Moore was rising rapidly.
As I write this, we have water lapping on our front door and if the river keeps rising the house will be flooded.
At 8pm last night One Moore slipped her bow rope and was only held on by the safety chain. We got hold of a small rowing boat and after an hour or so managed to get another rope to the bow. The stern is also chained  on to the mooring below the water line, so we thought it would be o.k. as long as the  chain held and was long enough for the height  the boat would reach. At midnight we went to bed with fingers crossed.
We woke up this morning at 6am and found that the road at the front of our house was flooded, about 20 or so cars were under water and it was still rising. Nb One Moore is now being held by the new bow rope but the high water has taken her over the top of the mooring poles and she is above land. The problem now is, what happens when the water goes down again?.
Two boats have gone from the moorings up river and two more are held on by a single bow line, which we attached last night as a safety measure. The boat behind One Moore is tilting badly and could easily sink. One boat, again up stream has already sunk.
I have never seen anything like this before. We are perhaps fortunate that we can at least see what's
happening minute by minute but the awful thing is, we are powerless to help. To watch our lovely boat hang by a thread and wonder if we will ever get on her again, is horrible. A rescue helicopter has just gone over head, no doubt looking for people stranded. There is always somebody worse off, I guess.
Will close now, not sure how long the power will stay on.
I 'll update when I can.

The Avon in Evesham, from the Abbey Road Bridge looking downstream

Nb One Moore over land, held by a single bow line

Rescue helicopters buzz around all the time

3rd posting April 10th 12.12GMT
Hi All,
To update you on the situation about 2 Hours after my last posting.
The river is causing major damage. At our local marine club (Sankey) about 6 boats have been lost. The clubhouse is under 2 feet of water as is a cottage on the property. They are at present trying to save 2 more large cruisers but think they will fail. 2 Nb's, both hirers have been lost somewhere down stream. 2 local caravan parks have lost several vans to the river and about 6 of them are stacked up against the main bridge in Evesham.
In all the surrounding areas the situation remains bleak. Search and rescue helicopters buzz round all the time. The army are out as well helping where they can. Flood water seems to be effecting all areas within about 20 miles of Evesham.
As I write this the news has reported a body has been found in a local caravan park near the river.
Nb One Moore is still attached to its line but the boat behind has now slipped its ropes and is held by its chain. This boat is helping One Moore to stay in position. Lets hope it stays that way.
The rain has stopped and the water is now about 6 feet from our front door and getting further away as I write. There is however a new threat from heavy snow falling north of here.
More later.

4th posting 10 April 15.10GMT
Hi All,
The water is going down but for how long is anybody's  guess. Just in front of our house, a car is on its side. The level has dropped one letter in the registration plate, in the last 2 hours or so.
Still, bits of boat, caravan, trees, large gas bottles and just about anything else you would see on the side of a river, has gone past the house in the last 8 hours.
Nb One Moore - no change.
Rain comes and goes. The level on our patio at the rear of the house has dropped, which would indicate that the drains are starting to take water away again. Forecast not good. More rain and even snow on the way.
The lunchtime news tells us that Worcestershire, Warwickshire, Oxfordshire and Northamptonshire are all badly effected.

5th posting 10 April 19.09GMT
Hi All,
Good News.
The water here is going down. I can see another 2 letters on the overturned cars reg plate.
Nb One Moore - no change. However the boat remains above land ie. Our mooring. If the boat settles on top of the mooring, which has a slope to it anyway, she could still tip over. The hope is that One Moore will settle down gently and then it will have to be craned back into the water.
The weather forecast is not good, but the Avon has peaked in terms of river height.
I am starting to get my sense of humour back.
Bad News.
The water is rising in Stratford Upon Avon. The Moat House Hotel is now cut off.
Its raining again.
Its now official. The water is higher than ever before in
Evesham.

6th posting 11th April 12.56GMT
Hi All,
We eventually went to bed last night around midnight, having watched the water slowly drain away from the house. I got up at 5am and looked at the boat and it was still at its midnight position. At 7am Wendy got up and looked out again to see that the boat was caught at its bow on a 6 foot high wall at the back of the mooring. At the speed of light, I was up and dressed and over at the boat which was indeed stuck fast. The stern was still floating. I climbed carefully on the boat to attach another line to the stern so that I could pull at the stern to try and shift the bow. A friend arrived from up the road and with the aid of some scaffolding poles and another chap who also arrived, we managed to lift the boat off the wall and back into the water. Time now 8.15am.
While all this was going on, a guy arrived to look at his car. He then got on his mobile phone and phoned the AA. I asked  for his assistance and he could clearly see what we were trying to do. He declined and stayed chatting on his phone for the next 20 minutes. Some people are incredible and I came very close to, well you can imagine.
The level in the river is now going down and the boat with it. She will now
finish up on land and we are trying to position the boat to keep her upright. I phoned a crane company to see if there was any way of lifting the boat to safety now but they were up to their eyes in problems all over the place.
We are now hearing of people who have had their lives devastated by the
Water. A friend of ours who has a club in the town and also lives in the town has lost both club and house to several feet of water. One of the Evesham trip boats has been lost. Many of our near neighbours have been flooded. Fences, walls, gates, hedges all gone. I thank god, that so far our house, cars and at the moment boat are all o.k..
As I write this and look out of the window, the sun is out, its quite warm and I can see Nb One Moore bobbing about on the water. Our job now is to make sure she comes down in the best possible place on the mooring to stop her
turning over. Our mooring is on a slope!.
More later.

7th posting 12th April 14.11GMT
Nb One Moore has landed.
She eventually came down to rest at 6am this morning, her bow touching ground first. We managed to position her so that the stern missed a very large and sturdy metal table that we use sometimes for Bar-B-Q's. If she had come down on that she would have tipped over. We attached 8 ropes to the roof on both sides. This we hope will stop her rolling down the mooring as the water level drops and the stern touches land.
The mooring poles  are now visible and we can se that the force of the water that pushed the boat to the river bank, being held on only by the bow rope has bent them all over. I wonder what damage has been done to the underside oh the hull as she dragged across the poles.
The water is now falling fast. It's a lovely sunny day and quite warm. We have been helping other boaters today and on this stretch of the river, all but 2 boats are safe. Only 1 is looking like it might still sink. At present it is perched on top of a mooring pole and its too far out in the river to get at. Everybody
has a tale to tell, most of them sad but some of luck and good
fortune and some even funny. At the moment the worst is over and the general position is improving all the time. The weather outlook however is more rain and snow. It can't be as bad. Can it?.

8th posting 12th April 17.36GMT
Well, guess what. Its snowing!!!.
Nb One Moore has hit ground all the way now and is being held by ropes. The river is falling quickly and it will not be long before she is clear of the water all together. The problem now is keeping her upright and we intend, in a few
minutes to slacken all the ropes one by one to let her slip to more solid ground.
The Atlanta cruiser just behind us is sinking. She finally gave up the battle about 1.5 hours ago. She came down on top of a mooring pole from the
mooring behind her and once the water stopped supporting the hull the pole went through the stern of the boat.
The river has fallen back and I can see the top of the bank on the other side of the river. Large lakes have been left in fields and parks all around here.

9th posting 13 April 17.30GMT
Just a short note, Evesham is now almost back to normal as far as the river level is concerned.
Nb One Moore is still siting on her mooring and has stopped moving. I have arranged for a crane to come in the morning and lift her to safety. She will then be taken to Sankey Marine to be checked before going back into the river.
I am amazed that Haven Knox-Johnston, the insurance company have not been available all over the weekend, due to the bank holiday. You would think
That with all this going on, they would have opened their offices so that
thousands of people could get advice.

10th and final posting 14th April 21.55GMT
Nb One Moore was finally lifted to safety by 2 huge cranes off the top of the mooring at 12.30pm today. She was then put on a low loader and driven the 2 miles or so to Sankey Marine where after an external examination was lowered gently back into the water. I was then able to get on board and check
everything was o.k., and it seems  that apart from minor scrapes and scratches she is fine and lives to chugg another day.
I returned to her this evening after work and switched on the power. All
systems are go. No leaks, the engine flashed up o.k..
I cannot tell you the elation that Wendy and I are feeling tonight. All the effort of hourly checks through the night and constant watching during the day paid off.
A thought though for many chums of mine in this area who have lost boats or caravans or had houses damaged or businesses damaged. In some cases I know, people have been effected by all of the above. Wendy and I and our
family are very lucky.
I would like to thank the many people on this list who have sent goodwill
messages to the list and have sent e-mails direct.
Thank you all very much indeed.

'Don't Fall In'

Andrew.

Nb One Moore , bow on land, stern still in the water. Fence brought down by the floods

View of River Avon showing boats
including One Moore where they came to rest as the water went down

Nb One Moore held by 8 ropes
attached to the roof, 2 on the stern and 2 on the bow to stop her rolling over down the slope of the mooring

Nb One Moore, where she finally came to rest. Our house can be seen in the background on the right

Link to the best canal /river waterways web site http://www.canals.com

Me, Oh Happy Days

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