Village still recovering six months after severe floods

The Lancashire village of Croston was one of the worst affected in the area by the Boxing Day floods.
The Wheatsheaf pub, where residents took refuge at the beginning of the flood.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
27-12-2015
The Lancashire village of Croston was one of the worst affected in the area by the Boxing Day floods. The Wheatsheaf pub, where residents took refuge at the beginning of the flood. PIC BY ROB LOCK 27-12-2015
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The majority of residents hit by severe flooding six months ago have had insurance claims settled, a report has revealed.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) has reported 90 per cent of claims received after the Boxing Day storms are now fully or partly settled.

However, despite the report, residents in Croston say their village is still in recovery.

Kath Almond, resident and parish councillor, was affected by the floods.

She said: “It has taken such a long time and we’re not fully sorted yet - I still have no tiles on my kitchen floor and I don’t have a cooker, just a hob.

“It’s the way the insurance companies work now.

“I’m hoping within the next month it will all be finished.

“But a lot of other people still haven’t moved back into their houses because of the damage.

“After six months it’s getting people down.

The final bill for December flood repairs is expected to reach £1.3 billion, according to the ABI.

Mark Shepherd, manager of general insurance policy at the ABI, said: “For everyone affected by December’s storms we know the repairs to their homes and businesses can’t happen soon enough.

“Insurers are committed to getting all customers back in their properties as safely and as quickly as possible.”

Jon Lilley, landlord of the Wheatsheaf, Town Road, had to deal with £18,000 worth of flood damage to his pub because the excess was too high.

The pub had to shell out £12,000 of its own money along with a number of grants.

Jon said: “We’re just starting to get back to normal.

“It hasn’t been easy, but our neighbours had it a lot worse.

“There are constant reminders we have been flooded and we want to put it behind us.”

Stuart Laverick helped to set up the Croston Flood Relief charity which has helped more than 200 households so far.

He said: “The devastation was horrible because a lot of my friends were flooded.

“But despite what’s happened, the community spirit has been amazing.

“And there are other residents and groups we still want to help out in the future, such as the over 60s group, the sports club, the scouts group, and lots of others.”

For more information, visit www.crostonfloodrelief.org.uk.