Evacuated family unsure when they will be able to return to their flooded home

Mark Gower with his sons Harry and Jack in their flooded home.

Mark Gower with his sons Harry and Jack in their flooded home.

First published in News Basingstoke Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A FAMILY who have been evacuated from their home because of the floods have no idea when they will be able to return.

Danielle McLauchlan and Mark Gower were evacuated from their Sovereign Housing home in Sperrin Close with their two children, Jack, 11, and Harry, seven, last Saturday.

They have since been put up in various hotels, but have no idea when they will be able to return home.

Mark, 32, said: “The road has been flooded for three weeks and then the front of our house flooded last Thursday. The front footpath started to flood and came into the front garden. It looked really bad last Friday.”

He added: “I lifted the sewer covers which are in our garden, and they were completely full.”

On Saturday, the back garden also became flooded and the family began to fear the water could reach their house.

Danielle, 30, said: “I was upstairs and came down, and the kitchen was wet. There was about a foot of water in the kitchen. It had come up through the ground, not through the doors.”

She added: “There was nothing I could do. I got towels and put them down but they were soaked in seconds.”

Mark, a delivery driver, returned with the couple’s sons to see the devastation. He said: “It’s one of the worst things that can happen to your home, but it’s Mother Nature and sometimes you can’t stop things and have to let it run its course.”

The family, who have lived in their home for nine years, managed to salvage some of their belongings but had to leave their furniture to rot in the water as it was too heavy to move.

They spent two nights at the Premier Inn, at Basingstoke Leisure Park, before being moved to Copper Beeches, in Cliddesden Road.

But the family say they need kitchen facilities, having lived off takeaways since they were evacuated.

Mark said: “We don’t know what’s happening next. It’s all a bit crazy at the moment. The house won’t clear until the road is clear. We understand it needs to run its course, but we need to carry on living our lives.”

They have had to keep returning to their house to collect clothing and other items, wading through the floodwater to reach upstairs.

Danielle, a cleaner, said: “Once the house is sorted, every time it rains we are going to think ‘is it going to happen again?’ It’s going to be months before we can return.”

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