“If the building floods now we can forklift stuff onto the mezzanine level”

PETER RUNS A RETAIL BUSINESS THAT WAS FLOODED IN 2007 Peter: “I couldn’t believe what was happening. We’d had bits of water come in before, but it would be very shallow and just lapping at the car park. When the 2007 floods came it was a completely different story. It was horrendous going in and seeing the devastation – and I felt all on my own with it. But when the building was being re-made we put all the electrics high up in the walls and all machines were re-done with overhead power so the sockets wouldn’t get flooded. Also, if the building floods now we can forklift stuff onto the mezzanine level (which we also put in when we refurbished).” Download the PDF

“We also raised the floor level and strengthened the floor. We haven’t used flood barriers as I feel that in our location they wouldn’t work as we are so close to the brook and river, but we have made these changes to the building and that has worked out really well. We have been flooded since: one at Christmas and one at the end of January. The Christmas one came into the building 5-6 inches above the floor but we’d taken the precaution of putting pallets under the machinery. It was good that we had changed the premises in certain ways in the 6 months we were closed.”  

  • Given the opportunity (refurbishment, rebuilding etc.) are there any structural changes that would make your premises more flood-­resilient? • Do you have any stock or raw materials that you could move to a safer place or raise off the ground?

“We’ve not made it a flood-proof building, but it will withstand flooding”

SANJAY’S BUSINESS NEEDED REFURBISHMENT AFTER A FLOOD IN 2012 Sanjay: “I think the way that we’ve done it is, it’s not a flood-proof building, but it’s a building that will withstand flooding; the difference being that if it’s going to flood, it’s going to flood, but it’s not going to cause any damage. To flood-proof we’d have had to watertight the doors and all those sort of things. And, you know, so we’ve re-set all the electrics higher up; the digital phone system’s now high up, the CCTV system’s now high up. So, you know, hopefully next time it won’t get at them. It would have to be a more severe flood if it did. And since I bought the business 10 years ago and that’s the first time it’s flooded, hopefully…” Download the PDF

“And in the new building we’re planning, the machines will be at a higher level for operation and that sort of thing; because they’ll be on a platform. In the machine room I’ll probably put a bulkheadwall to stop the water coming through the doorway, just so the machines don’t get flooded again – rather than sandbags, which are a waste of time. I haven’t thought out how I’ll do it yet, but we’ll probably line the walls and put a rubber trough in and it’ll fit in there. And it’ll be clamped or screwed into the wall if there’s a flood warning. It came up through the drains and the toilet last time. I’m not sure what I’ll do about that. I think we could put a big stopcock on the soil pipes. I don’t know; I’d have to have a look at it. But then the pipes come back from the stopcock, you know, most soil pipes going into the ground are just plastic; you probably need to put metal ones in, because the pressure of the water is probably way beyond what the plastic pipe’s designed to cope with. I’ll probably ring my architect mate or the engineer, yeah.”

  • What floor-­level equipment and fittings would be damaged if your business flooded? • How would this impact on your ability to stay operational?  

Being ready to the keep water out

Sam Snape, Lower Lode Inn talks about the different measures they have taken to deal with flooding and adaptations made Download the Transcript 


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