Clean-up begins after flash floods hit Cheshire town
The waters have receded but a big clean-up is under way in Poynton, Cheshire, after flash floods deluged houses on Wednesday.
Katie Ward was driving home at around 4pm on Wednesday, about to join her husband and three children already on holiday in Devon that night.
But when she arrived her 350-year-old cottage beside a bridge over Poynton Brook was starting to flood.
Mrs Ward said: “My heart sank. I couldn’t believe the level of the stream, it was a torrent, a river. Just feeling incredibly out of control.
“Your home is your secure place. The water level was rising and creeping closer and closer to the front door. I just felt completely out of control. It seemed to go from two inches to waist height within 10 minutes.
“By 5pm we were completely flooded.”
Flood water mixed with raw sewage from the drains devastated her house, rising up to the third step of her stairs.
Mrs Ward was able to salvage precious photographs but her downstairs is ruined, covered in a thick layer of smelly brown sludge, along with two family cars parked outside which have been written off.
The force of the water caused the wall and part of the bridge to collapse outside her house on Dickens Lane in Poynton.
It proved a blessing as even more water backing up onto the road was able to flow into the stream, taking it away from the cottage and other nearby houses.
But for Mrs Ward and her family the damage had already been done.
She added: “I finished work last night and it was, ‘Yeah, summer!’ Now we are waiting for the loss adjusters to come.”
Husband Martin Ward added: “We are just a displaced family now.”
Their neighbour Simon Howcroft was lucky not to be flooded out – but lost his garden as the wall collapsed onto his lawn and huge sink-holes appeared.
His stepdaughter Sian Fishwick was at home alone at the time, and said: “In our shed I was thigh deep in water. The wheelie bins were floating.
“Our neighbours’ porch had already had an inch or two of water in, the other neighbour was thigh deep in water and that’s when the bridge went and the wall collapsed into our garden and the water receded quite quickly from there but it was a torrent of water, you couldn’t walk in it safely.
“It saved the houses and potentially a lot of damage.
“I was terrified, I was ringing my mum and stepdad saying you need to come home but trains were… you couldn’t get home.
“It was really scary, I thought the house was going to be flooded.”
Utility engineers and the local council are now on scene to assess the damage. It is not known when the bridge will be repaired and reopened.