Family’s flooding misery now over

A FAMILY formerly plagued by flooding problems are delighted about being left high and dry.

Graham Huntley’s Stakeford home was left devastated by the floods that swept through Northumberland in 2008.

The water did so much damage to the Farndale Avenue house that the 38-year-old, his wife Carol, also 38, and sons Joseph, nine, and Matthew, three, were forced to move out for almost two months.

Graham said: “The drains couldn’t cope. It was such a small drain for the whole street. There is a manhole cover outside my house, and it would burst, lifting it right up, and the water would go under my floorboards.

“We had to move out and stay in a hotel after the floods in 2008 for weeks when the youngest was just 18 months old.

“It was terrible. They had to lift up all the floorboards, strip everything and disinfect it, then replace the carpets and floor.”

The Huntleys’ home was flooded a further 11 times after that, prompting Graham and his neighbours to call on Northumbrian Water to tackle the problem.

Their calls were answered, and bigger drains have now been fitted.

Graham said: “I was pretty relieved, and it was so quick from start to finish. Now we don’t need to worry any more.”

A spokesperson for Northumbrian Water said: “We appreciate that flooding is extremely distressing for customers, and reducing this risk is one of our top priorities.

“Over the next five years, we are investing more than £120m on hundreds of flood protection schemes that will help ease the worry for homeowners.

“The three-month project in Stakeford will protect five properties at Farndale Avenue and Percy Gardens that reported flooding in times of extremely heavy rainfall.

“The work involved increasing the capacity of the sewer network at Ashington Drive and Farndale Avenue, so it can now hold an additional 200,000 litres of storm water.

“We’d like to thank customers for the patience and understanding they showed while this work was being carried out.”