Mr Sowden, Crosby - in - Eden, Carlisle.

As a response to local flooding experienced in January 2005 Carlisle City Council in conjunction with the Government Office for the North West bid for government funding to alleviate the city's flooding problem. 

Some of the 1.5 million pound funding they secured was used to protect individual properties with floodguards. The following is taken from "Open" a community magazine for Carlisle.  "The Council used some of its funding on an innovative scheme of protection for individual houses that could be replicated elsewhere. As some 5 million people and 2 million homes in England and Wales live with the risk of flooding, the potential is huge. 

The system involves fitting a simple-looking set of guards for doors and airbricks to each house at risk. In an emergency, an automated telephone call from the environment agency alerts householders, giving them  about two hours warning.  They then fit the guards, which are stored in a shed or garage.  David Sowden from the village of Crosby on Eden is one of the householders trying out the new guards.  He and his wife had to get upstairs quickly in the flood as 40cm of sewage contaminated water poured in. 

The guards are designed to keep all water out for 20 hours and the greater the pressure, the better the seals work.   David says the protection measures are especially welcome at this time.  He had to live in a caravan for almost a year and had severe stress in dealing with builders, insurance companies - and knowing all the time that another potentially devastating flood could be on the way.  "people don't realise the stress" he says. "You have been so busy fighting with the different organisations, it is only later that it hits you.  This has eased the pressure". 

As Carlisle recovers, a legacy of serious stress-related illness has begun to emerge. That is another reason why all the agencies are keen to avoid another flood resulting from what everyone believes will be an inevitable repeat of extreme weather conditions.  The cost of damage to buildings has run into the millions of pounds, and the human cost incalculable.  The Guards for 72 homes cost a mere £285,000."

 

The following is taken from the testimonial Mr Sowden (mentioned above) sent to Floodguards.

"Dear Sir, just a short letter from my wife and I to say through you, thank you to Gavin your area sales manager, for his assistance and attention to detail at our property where we have had your flood guards fitted.

The contractors who carried out the work were very conscientious and thoughtful when preparing and doing the work on our property and are a credit to the firm who employed them viz, Fred, Gee and Richard to name but a few.

It is quoted in your catalogue, it is "peace of mind" and they look the part.  We hope that we never have to use them, but at least we are prepared, which is more than can be said for other agencies and the like who promise things in the distant future.

Yours. David Sowden, Crosby in Eden.