East Lavant neighbours help flood victims

Diane and Graham Kelly. PICTURE BY KATE SHEMILT
Diane and Graham Kelly. PICTURE BY KATE SHEMILT

TWO ‘angels’ came to the aid of an East Lavant couple whose home was flooded on Christmas Eve.

Diane and Graham Kelly were on holiday on the Isle of Wight, when they had a phone call from a neighbour to say there was a ‘bit of a problem’.

Their home in Lower Road was flooded, but neighbours quickly set about cleaning up all the mess.

“I really want to say thank you to the two people that came in and cleaned our cottage of a good 75 per cent so that we didn’t come back to silt,” said Mrs Kelly on Monday.

They returned home on Friday, after having spent Christmas away.

She thanked her neighbours Margaret Rhodes and Elizabeth Woodford for all their help, describing them as ‘two wonderful Samaritans’.

“I call them two angels,” she added, as the pair had been in her cottage clearing up.

Mrs Rhodes is the editor of Lavant News, the village’s newsletter.

Mrs Kelly also thanked neighbour Steve Woodman, the racehorse trainer who owns the nearby stables.

The 63-year-old said he had never seen such a deluge of rainfall in such a short period of time as the area experienced just before Christmas.

“I’ve never seen rain like it,” he said.

He spotted the tidal mark the water had made on Mr and Mrs Kelly’s front door and neighbours were able to peer through the letterbox to assess the damage.

Mr Woodman said water had flooded through his stables, but fortunately had not caused any permanent damage, though a lot of food for the horses had been ruined.

The stables have been protected by sandbags to hopefully prevent further flooding.

Residents said the flooding had not been caused by water flowing down Chalk Pit Lane, from the Trundle, or the River Lavant flooding, but was rather as a consequence of the high level of saturation in the water.

Heavy rain and gales have battered the Observer area over Christmas.