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East Lancashire flood victims clean-up
A MAJOR clean-up operation got under way at the weekend after torrential rainfall flooded homes and businesses.
During the downpours Lancashire Fire and Rescue received more than 400 emergency calls relating to flooding.
The Environment Agency said all weather warnings have now been withdrawn for East Lancashire. On Friday night, at the height of the floods crisis, there were more than 40 in place.
Residents of ‘at risk’ properties were even advised to evacuate their homes, as firefighters waded in waist-high water trying to turn off electricity supplies.
Floods were reported in particular in Ribble Valley, Darwen, Rossendale as well as throughout East Lancashire.
Some businesses in Darwen, including the Engineer’s Arms pub in Duckworth Street, were closed due to the extensive damage caused when a month’s rain fell in 24 hours.
Parts of the drainage systems could not cope with the fast flowing and falling water.
The pressure from the water forced up the surface on a bridge over the River Darwen near Dove Lane, Darwen, and the pavement along the busy Blackburn Road.
The boss of Sukhi’s Indian Cuisine, Blackburn Road, Darwen, said more than £15,000 damage had been caused by the flood. Industrial cleaners were being used to dry carpets on Saturday.
Enus Ali said: “We were ankle-deep in water, it came in from the back through to the front of the building. There’s at least £15,000 worth of damage and we have lost about £3,000 of food stock.
“We are planning to stay open and we have borrowed stock from other restaurants.
“We can’t afford to close.”
Henry Rothwell, of the Anglers Den, Blackburn Road, Darwen, has been in business for 20 years. He closed his shop on Saturday to sweep out the water after it caused around £3,000 of damage.
He said: “Mother Nature is a strange thing. We closed on Saturday and I will lose another three or four days’ business. I’m waiting for the insurance to get in touch. The drains couldn’t cope.”
Patricia Heaton, owner of Wizard’s Den fancy dress shop, Blackburn Road, Darwen, arrived on Saturday to find 300 soaked costumes.
She said: “I came to the shop on Friday night and the police said I couldn’t go inside because it was too dangerous.”
In Rossendale the downpours left Ramsbottom’s football and cricket grounds under water.
Shop owners in Crawshawbooth were devastated by the damage and spent most of the weekend trying to clean up the mess.
The Quaker Meeting House in Crawshawbooth is expected to be closed for weeks after water reached almost waist level.
The Met Office has forecast an cloudy but dry start to the week, with heavy showers returning by Thursday.
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