Home in time for Christmas

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Flood victims Ted and Elaine Mullane have finally returned to their Hucknall home, five months after freak storms caused untold damage.

When a month’s worth of rain fell in just one hour on Tuesday 23rd July, many homes, businesses and roads across the district became submerged in water but for residents on Thoresby Dale it was a dreaded repeat of the past.

The street has been plagued with flooding problems over the years with the Mullanes last hit by severe floods in 2007 but this year’s was the worst to date.

After being forced to live in their caravan on the front garden since July, the Mullanes were able to enjoy Christmas in their home after months of drying out, replastering, repairing and replacing damaged furniture, the kitchen and bathroom.

“It is such a relief to us both that we are finally back at home and everything is back to normal,” said Ted. “It just seemed never-ending as five months is a long time to be without your home comforts.

“It is like a huge weight has been lifted and the pressure has been taken off us at last.”

The couple, together with family and friends were busy in the lead-up to Christmas to ensure the house was ready.

“We have had such wonderful support from family,friends and neighbours,” added Ted. “We just can’t thank them enough. I don’t know how we would have managed without everybody’s generosity.”

As well as family members cooking them meals and doing their washing, they have also been sent a food hamper to celebrate the season by an anonymous donor and several donations from people after hearing of their plight.

It has been a long journey and a very stressful period for the Mullanes as they have struggled to cope with the effects of the flood. The couple were hit hard again when Elaine and her daughter and son-in-law lost their jobs in August when textile factory Bamkin’s closed.

“We have had a lot of sleepless nights these past few months,” explained Ted. “But having such wonderful support has meant everything to us.

“The community spirit has been reminiscent of my pit days when everybody pulled together.”

Despite being back at home, the fear of further floods remain with the Mullanes and residents of Thoresby Dale.

“Every time it rains we sit and worry about what might happen,” added Ted. “And until a solution is found this fear will never leave us.”

Neighbour Bill Ward has been campaigning and fighting for a long-term solution for the area. He has raised the situation with councillors, the MP, Severn Trent and the Environment Agency to end their nightmare.

Nottinghamshire County Council launched a flood investigation after July but the findings are not due until the spring.

“It’s a real battle to try and get a permanent solution,” explained Bill. “I have been involved in the investigation explaining to the various agencies what has happened and showed them around the area highlighting the problems as I see it.

“They have listened and carried out tests but I really don’t think they know yet how to solve the problem. But I am determined to carry on fighting until they do come up with an answer.”