More stories from Northampton flood victims pour in as residents speak of their ordeal

The only positive thing that can be taken away from the sudden destruction in Northampton on Sunday night is how our communities stick together through the toughest of times.

Wednesday, 30th May 2018, 12:20 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 10:46 am
Henry, Claire, and Freddie Buswell were using their buckets and spades in the thunder and lightening - with the help of 18 neighbours in the cul-de-sac - to clear the water, which was swirling around the drain (pictured).

Not even one month's worth of rainfall, in just two hours, could beat the remarkable resilience of Northamptonians. This was the story in Queen Eleanor Terrace, Far Cotton.

A group of 18 neighbours living near Claire Buswell - who has lived in Far Cotton her whole life - dug out their buckets, brooms and spades on Sunday and helped to clear inches of water built up in her porch and sloping front garden.

Claire, 41, was having dinner, watching The Greatest Showman with her partner and her two sons, Henry and Freddie when the rain hit.

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Daniel and Kim Powell are counting the cost of damage in East Hunsbury after their home was destroyed for the second time as a result of water damage. Here they are pictured with their Dalmatian, Bella.

She said: "Because the drain across the road was blocked, as the water was coming down the street it was swirling.

"When I opened up the back door it was up to the decking. I looked out the front door and the water was in the porch area - the mats and that were soaked."

In a two-hour clean-up effort in the cul-de-sac, her neighbours helped to bail most of the water in her porch before it made its way into the mum-of-two's home.

The inside of Claire's house was remarkably unaffected.

The Powell's lean-to was damaged in the flooding along with their white good, which was stored in there, and Daniel's bedding.

"My neighbours came out one-by-one and there was 18 of us in the end with buckets and brooms. My neighbours were taking buckets out and clearing it. It was chaos but it was nice to know that people care," she added.

"If it was not for them it would have definitely come in. I went into sheer panic, we were out here in the thunder and lightning."

An East Hunsbury family in Lichfield Drive was also wading through knee-deep water after, they say, it flooded in from the overflowing brook in Penn Valley Park behind their homes.

Damaged laminate flooring, sofas, white goods, wifi routers, and clothing are just some of the possessions her family had to sling out in bin bags.

The family is throwing out their lounge TV and washing machine.

Kim Powell, whose house is at the bottom of a hill, lives with her family of six and Dalmatian Bella. Kim had just finished eating dinner when the TV system blew.

She said: "It was up to our knees, there was nothing we could do to stop it, it was like a tsunami, it took everything with it.

"I'm getting angry now, this has happened before.

"This might not happen for another 10 years but it will happen again. It's totally destroyed everything. It's like building the whole of the downstairs again."

Bags of belongings have been stacked up on the Powell's driveway ready to be thrown out.

Kim's eight-month-old grandson and his mum (Kim's daughter) have now gone to live in Kettering temporarily with other family members while they try and get their lives back on track.

Her son Daniel, who sleeps in his bedroom downstairs, has lost all of his work clothes, jeans and trousers to the floods. Most of their belongings from downstairs are now strewn across their back garden while they try to work out if anything can be salvaged.

She added: "The guy was saying 'I don't think there will be a lot of change of out £40,000.

"The insurance is going to go through the roof.

"I'm thanking whoever is looking after us that we were not in our beds."

Kim's next-door neighbours Paul and Sarah Warden told the Chronicle & Echo that they have had to put their seven-month-old puppy in kennels and their daughter, who is taking her GCSEs has gone to her friend's house to stay and revise.

Paul said: "It was an extraordinary event on Sunday night. I would say the brook contributed to it. Was that the only cause? Probably not. I think it's a huge factor in what's caused this."

He mentioned that there should now be protective measures in place to stop it happening again.

"It's affected property prices, resale prices and insurance premiums through no fault of our own."