You could win £100 cash
Mark Leafe knows a thing or two about flood protection - he is not only one of just eight BSI kite-marked certified Flood Professionals installers in the country, he knows, first hand, what it's like to be flooded.
Boston-born Mark had properties he owns in the Pulvertoft Lane and Oxford Street area of Boston flooded in December, 2013. As much as four feet of tidal flood water poured through the homes in one of the worst-hit areas of town.
The torrent swept away parts of the nearby riverbank, undermining one of the houses leading to structural damage. The front garden dropped a foot.
BEFORE and AFTER: It doesn't take much flood water in your home for the result to be total destruction and months of misery. This Boston property has now had flood resilience improvements made by Lincs Flood Defence. Flood damage to flooring, skirting, plaster and render had to made good, including removable of fittings such as radiators.
Mark, a roofer and general builder, had his own experience of the aftermath, the clean-up, the repairs and, finally, improved flood resilience. After the flood waters receded the properties were full of slimy mud, sewage, rats and even fish. "It was unreal - like an alternative world," he said.
His experiences and expertise led him into his new line of work and he now also runs Lincs Flood Defence, working with his son James, also trained and BSI kite-mark accredited by Flood Professionals, and another colleague.
Above left: Mark Leafe, of Lincs Flood Defence, sizes up a door for a flood barrier. Right: Mark and his son James, both trained and BSI kite-mark accredited by Flood Professionals.
Flood Professionals is the UK's first and only flood industry scheme developed in conjunction with BSI (British Standards Institute) to deliver Kitemark certified flood defence survey and installation. See http://floodadvisoryservice.co.uk for more information.
Mark is the second sponsor of the Floodline Lottery where you could win £100 CASH simply by registering with the Environment Agency's flood warning service. This will ensure that, if ever there should be anything like a repeat of the flood of 2013, all those signed up to the free service will get a warning by phone, email and text. The Floodline Lottery is open to flood-risk residents in Boston borough, East Lindsey and South Holland.
Mark said: "I hate to admit that I was not signed up in 2013. I am now. Like lots of people, I never thought we would really have a flood. It's not an exaggeration to say Floodline could not only give you time to prepare for imminent flood, and perhaps protect your property, but it could be a lifesaver.
"One family I know thought they could stay put in 2013. After they had fled to upper floors, the gas and electricity had gone off and they were in scary darkness and the enormity of the situation began to strike home, they realised they could not stay there, but by then just getting out had become very dangerous. They had to wade through freezing filthy deep water holding a baby aloft."
It took Mark two years to return his properties to the condition they had been in prior to the flood, but now with flood resilience built in - flood doors and barriers, solid floors, one-way foul water valves and electric sockets at a raised height.
He has now completed similar flood resilience work on more than 100 properties in Boston and some in a flood-risk area of Norfolk. He is planning to revisit all flooded properties he has worked on to ensure flood protection is as good as it can be. To find out more about services offered by Lincs Flood Defence call Mark on 07816 851 614 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Floodline Lottery aims to encourage more to sign up for the Environment Agency warnings. Thanks to generous sponsors a number of £100 cash prizes will be awarded in the Floodline Lottery. So far, with exposure on the internet, entries for the lottery have come in from all over the country, leading to new Floodline from other at-risk areas. To be in with a chance of winning all you have to do is follow the few simple instructions below to register for the warnings.
Sponsors of the £100 Floodline Sign-up Lottery are Lincs Flood Defence, of Boston, Kier, UK Flood Barriers and Gravitas (International) Ltd.