Evesham in Flood

July 22nd - 25th 2007

"After the Easter floods in 1998 it couldn't happen again, could it"?


Brilliant sunshine today and the river is rapidly going back where it
belongs. Gone down about 6 feet overnight but still 14 feet ish above normal
levels. LT is fine, a bit battered and bruised but OK so far. She is
attached by a single bow line rapped round a lamppost. The stern rope having
broken with all the back and forth movement. Must have been rubbing on
something. Her stern is in the trees and bow in the hedge and she is coming
down over land, however it looks as if the stern is pointing out between two
sets of rising poles. If we can manoeuvre her backward, slowly as the water
subsides, she might end up where she started on Friday morning. Can't
believe that is only 48 hours ago. Have stared the clear up in the house,
insurance company have said do what we like about taking up carpets etc. but
keep anything we remove. When I spoke to them this morning, the very helpful
lady said " ah yes, you are in Evesham, have seen you on the telly, doubt if
we can salvage any floor covering". We have been hearing many stories of loss
or damage, all of them quite heart wrenching. Along our stretch 4 boats
remain, including LT. Sankey Marine, reportedly have 40 boats missing, many
of them washed away from hard standing. More of this and other experiences as
details come to light, I just wanted to quickly share with you our good news
so far re LT.

Thanks for all the emails, texts and phone calls, it has meant a great deal
to know we and LT are being thought about. It helps.


July 24th 7.20pm

Great, fantastic, brilliant, amazing news, LT is safe. Will do a final
report tomorrow, no time right now, but I thought you would want to know.
The river is still a couple of feet above the normal level and I can see the
landing stage. LT is slipping gently back into place, all be it 60 foot from
where she started out on Friday morning. There is a bottle of champagne on
board, I think I will go and get it :-)))))

July 25th 2.32pm

LT is almost back on Avon normal level, about 12 inches to go. Yesterday we
had a walk around the river frontage and the debris that has settled on the
banks is quite remarkable. Tons and tons and tons of it. wrecked caravans
and contents seem to be the main contributors'. The Spirit of Freedom On
Avon is sunk at her moorings on Workman gardens. This is a trip/restaurant
boat and just the top of the wheelhouse is visible.  I am no expert but I
guess she will be out of commission for months? Millie, which moors over the
other side by the flats was also sunk but has now been pumped out and is
floating again. A mobile home is on it side in the park. The bridges are
both opened to traffic and pedestrians. The bridge that was in danger was
the Abbey Road bridge and not the Workman Bridge in the town centre, the one
that mainly featured on the TV at the bottom of Port Street. The Spirit of
Freedom, was listing badly and the worry was, if she came loose, her 40 tons
would smash into the bridge and bring it down causing a huge tidal wave and
bits of bridge flying everywhere. The river was flowing at between 40 and 50
MPH at that stage. The community spirit has been fantastic here and I must
pay tribute to my mate Tony Sinderberry. Some of you may know Tony. When we
arrived back to our road on Sunday morning, Tony was desperately trying to
get his boat, Victoria, off the mooring pole that was lodged on the stern.
The river was still across the road, about 2 feet deep. Victoria is moored
neared to the bridge, so access was possible. With the help of others, with
poles, ladders, ropes and sheer determination, she came off. By this time I
had gained access to LT and was onboard, clambering on a ladder over the
hedge and onto the gunwales. checking her out, all was well, all systems
worked. Tony came straight down to ask if we were OK and I explained my
plan. Tony had long ropes, lots of them. All day and night I stayed on LT
and Tony stayed in his car. Each hour we checked the ropes and Tony gently
untied each of the now 3 bow lines in turn and to keep pace with the river
level. We were lucky, the mooring poles had bent over in just the right
places and acted as a downward guide. The river flow, kept the stern in
place. A centre rope was tied to my sons transit van and we had two stern
ropes connected to another lamppost. Thanks Tony, without your help and
guidance, we might never have pulled it off. Thanks also to my workmates who
have put themselves out to help and to Jessops, who have given me absence
with pay. My brilliant new electrical system has been wrecked, hope the
insurance will cover that. Incidentally, after initial good vibes, we have
still not had anyone round and it's now 5 days since I claimed. I know they
are busy, but I feel they should be busy with me. Getting through to them is
an achievement! There have been many many stories of devastation here and
indeed round the country far worse than us. Within half a mile of my house,
some 10 houses have had water up to the first floor. One house might have to
be demolished, such was the force of the water. Amazingly, so far, no
fatalities. There has been a few stories of selfishness, like the guy who
insisted on using the gym at our leisure centre, even though it was crowded
with evacuees. He'd paid his membership! cases of stupidity, people driving
into flooded roads and moving barriers put up across roads because it's
dangerous. There will always be the dickheads. Our emergency services and
local council officials have been superb. Often putting there own lives at
risk. Work way beyond the call of duty. The clean up continues, it's going
to take many weeks, but we will get back to normal.

So, that's all folks. So glad that Mike, Dad and Julie and of course Kismet
are well and unscathed. Knowing the spot where they were and knowing this
river, I am not sure I would have stayed on board, so well done to them.

Thanks again to you all. Thanks to all those who contributed to LT's
success. Till next time. Did I really say that?. Perhaps I am starting to
get my sense of humour back.

A pictorial record of what has happed since - There are a large number of photographs on this page

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