Bills follow the floods

TRADERS in Portishead have been left to pick up the bill for thousands of pounds of damage caused by last week's flash floods

TRADERS in Portishead have been left to pick up the bill for thousands of pounds of damage caused by last week's flash floods.Mark Hill, who owns The Sports Shop in the High Street, says the bad weather caused damage estimated at £20,000 after storm water poured in through the front of his shop.The water, which was about five inches deep throughout the shop, ruined thousands of pounds of stock including bags, shoes and clothes.Mr Hill, a father of two who has run the sports shop for the past five years, has had to bag up the damaged stock ready to throw out. Carpets in the shop were also badly damaged.Mr Hill said: "I had gone home because it was my son's birthday."We had got to blow the candles out on his cake and the phone rang and it was one of my customers saying the water was lapping at the shop front. When I got to the shop I couldn't open the electronic shutters because of all the water and had to wait for someone from the shutter firm to come and do it. By the time I got in, there was water all over the shop."Mr Hill says he believes the floods were aggravated because the drains in the High Street were partially blocked.He added: "When I looked at the drains they were blocked up with silt."If they had been clear then the problem may not have been as bad."Other shops to be hit included SuperSavers, with staff claiming the bill for the damage will run into thousands of pounds.Shop worker Mary Smith said: "We managed to sweep some of the water out, but it has destroyed the carpets and we had to rip them up."The water also caused a lot of damage to toiletries, boxes of gift paper and the card stand. We expect the damage to run into thousands of pounds - it's a complete disaster."Portishead councillor Reyna Knight, who visited the shops following the flooding, is now asking North Somerset Council to review its drain clearing regime.Cllr Knight said: "I have asked how often the drains are checked in the High Street and questioned whether it needs to be reviewed to prevent it happening again."North Somerset Council spokesman Nick Yates said: "We do have a drain cleaning schedule and in addition to this we have people out at the moment looking at the drains following the recent problems to ensure they are clear."*A NAILSEA school was also forced to shut for a week as a result of damage caused by the floods. Ravenswood School at Pound Lane was expected to open again today (Wed). The school had to be closed last Tuesday after water poured in through the ceiling during the bad storms, causing thousands of pounds of damage.


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