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Flood nightmare at an end at last

New homes and old in Boston are better prepared for flooding, with designed-in resilience and the Boston Barrier scheme progressing well.

Passers-by may have been mystified by a terrace of new houses being built in Argyle Street, where the front doors appear to be in mid-air.

These properties have been built above anticipated future flood levels and builders are now putting in steps to each property.

A spokesman for the development of five houses and eight flats said the properties have insulated concrete ground floors above a foot-deep void, the rest of the space backfilled from ground level. They are due to be complete and ready for sale late summer and have been designed to ensure the habitable areas are well clear of any potential  future flooding.

In Tawney Street, Boston, friends and neighbours Pam and Ted Jessop and Maureen and Geoff Snade are again enjoying their lovely 100-year-old homes after they were hit by the 2013 flood.

Pam and Ted Jessop in kitchen Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Pam and Ted in their kitchen - their home has hard flood-resistant floors throughout the ground floor

The uncomplaining pensioners spent more than a year surviving in the upper floor of their homes after the ground floors were wrecked.

Only now have the final finishing touches been made to restore their homes to their former pristine condition and equip them to deal with any future flood risk.

Ted (79) told how, despite a telephoned warning, the flood waters in December, 2013, came quickly and could not be resisted. The force of the water forced an outside door open and the flood poured through their home, front and back at the same time.

Both couples salvaged a few items from their ground floors, but carpets and furniture were ruined in an instant. 

Pam (73) said: "We had a foot of water through the house. It all happened so quickly. It was coming up the stairs behind us. You don't sleep when there's flood water sloshing about your house. At 5.30am the next day you could just see the white lines reappearing in the road outside. We lived upstairs after the flood - it was like camping."

Geoff (82) said in the aftermath the borough council binmen were "absolutely brilliant" in helping to clean up.

Geoff and Maureen Snade flood victims Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
Home Sweet Home - Maureen and Geoff in the "snug" after their post-flood refit

"They came immediately and nothing was too much trouble for them. They helped drag out wet carpets and load them up to take them away. They took everything"

Maureen (75) said the men gathered at her house for a hot cup of tea she made them - the only refreshment they had during a day of wet, cold and hard work.

Thankfully both couples had insurance cover and over the past 15 months their homes have been torn apart and put back together, and all that time without ever a murmur of complaint. New floors have been laid, skirting and other woodwork replaced, walls replastered and wiring renewed.

Both couples also applied to the council for Government flood resilience grants to better protect their homes.

Pam said: "You just have to get on with it." Maureen added: "But I couldn't go through it all again."

With the Boston Barrier project now in the detailed design phase Tawney Street residents should not have to experience flooding again. The £95 million project is on target to be completed by the end of 2019, providing reduced risk from tidal flooding for 20,000 properties in Boston for the next 100 years.

Argyle Street Displays a larger version of this image in a new browser window
High-rise front doors at new properties in Argyle Street