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Home   Maidstone   News   Article

Jasper Gerard meets Wateringbury flood victims

13 March 2014
by Alan Smith
It came up to here!

It came up to here!

Long-standing business owners have told politicians of how they have been flooded 28 times.

David Evans and his wife
Margaret own and live at the former Riverside Restaurant at Bow Bridge, Wateringbury, where they traded for 30 years. They suffered severe flooding in December and January. Jasper Gerard, the Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Maidstone and the Weald, the Environment Agency’s Neil Gunn and Conservative ward councillor Rodd Nelson-Gracie visited the village.

Mr Gerard said: “The residents feel they are the forgotten victims with so much attention focused elsewhere.” The couple, both 74, decided to close their business in October, but the restaurant is still their home.

Mrs Evans said: “The water came in four times. It was the worst we had ever seen. We had to move out for several weeks, but we have now been able to return to the top floor. The ground floor is still devastated.”

They had never seen such high water. Mrs Evans added: “Usually it’s just a couple of inches. Previously the worst time was in 2000, when the water was about 5ft high. They told us then it was a once-in-100-year event.

“Now, 13 years later, the water was even higher.”

Mrs Evans is dismayed any work on the Leigh Barrier could take at least 18 months. The couple are having to fund the repairs because they were unable to obtain insurance after previous flooding.

 

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