After the floods: Dehumidifiers, living upstairs, and wellies indoors

Ditchigham floods

Some five inches of water flowed into Darren Potter's home on Christmas morning. He is now living upstairs but has been amazed by the rallying response of the community. - Credit: Darren Potter

It is three days since Christmas was washed away by a surge of water that couldn't be held back.

For Darren Potter and his girlfriend Louise it was meant to be their first Christmas together at home in Ditchingham Dam.

Instead they were rain-soaked in wellies desperately bailing out the living room as the flood water found its way in - rising some five inches and grazing the electrics.

Ditchingham floods

Builder Darren Potter balanced his sofa on chairs to save it as flooding hit on Christmas Day in Ditchingham. - Credit: Darren Potter

"It has just been a blur," Mr Potter said.

"It is pretty shocking. Me and my girlfriend have cried and we have laughed."

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Meanwhile, a water main has burst nearby and the drain is blocked - so he is sandbagging again.

"It is just never ending," he added.

Flooding in Ditchingham

Darren Potter spent four hours trying to stem the flow of water into his house on Christmas morning and is now dealing with the aftermath and living upstairs. - Credit: Darren Potter

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On Christmas Day he was clearing out the carpets and working out what could be saved. Now the de-humidifiers are whirring day and night and he is living upstairs.

"I saw the water in the road and that concerned me a bit," he said.

"I asked the neighbours and they said they had been there for years and never had any trouble so didn't make any preparations.

"We were playing games and I saw the water creeping in.

"I gathered some sand bags but I wasn't prepared for the water to come in the back.

"The first cottage was hit quite badly. They had to leave and spent the night at Dunston Hall.

"In the end we just had to let it come in. There was nothing to be done.

"The carpet was floating." 

Having admitted defeat at 4am on Christmas morning his last job was to rescue the tortoise, having to climb out of the windows because he couldn't open the doors.

They had managed to get all the presents upstairs and balance the sofa on kitchen chairs to save it.

Being a builder the 39-year-old knew he need to crack on with the drying process and was stunned there was so much help from local firms including PJ Lee and Travis Perkins even on Christmas Day.

Of his neighbours he said: "Everyone just rallied together. We feel a bit closer now.

"We all have damage and some is worse than others. I do class myself as lucky.

"The help and support we have had has just been unbelievable."

Beccles Quay

Boats sit as high as the road at Beccles quay on Monday (December 28) - Credit: supplied

Suffolk MP Peter Aldous was in the Bridge Street area of Bungay on Monday (December 28) to see for himself the aftermath of the flooding.

He said some people had been able to start the recovery and repair process immediately thanks the to the swift co-operation of insurance companies.

Others had not been so lucky and were still waiting for dehumidifiers and had been left hanging on the phone without making progress.

He said lessons would have to be learned and that checks would need to be carried out to ensure everything had worked as it should.

"There is always a challenge when dealing with flood defences," he said, adding that he had spoken to several households who were being "remarkably resilient."

"It was a period of very heavy rainfall. A lot of people who have been around here for a long time say they have not seen anything like it for 50 or 60 years," he added.

District councillor Judy Cloke said around ten homes had been affected in Bungay with Ditchingham Dam being the hardest hit.

Of those affected in her council ward most were coping and pulling together with their neighbours.

Some people had requested skips so they could get on with clearing out the wet and muddied contents and get on with the drying out - which she had arranged.

She said: "The water level has dropped tremendously. It was very deep on Christmas morning and remained so on Boxing Day then it did drop, but seemed to come back up again.

"A few houses in the parish of Bungay were affected but the worst affected were in Ditchingham Dam. There are several pinch points where the river curves and the marshes could not cope."

She said the scout hut had also been flooded, but thankfully people had not been bothered by sewage water in their homes.

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