Enough water to fill an eight-foot lift shaft

The aftermath of the floods in Alnwick.
The aftermath of the floods in Alnwick.

Businesses affected by Thursday’s flash floods have described how water poured in through their doors, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

Among the worst affected were Iceland and the Yorkshire Building Society, both on Bondgate Within, and the Northumberland County Council office on neighbouring Greenwell Lane.

All were forced to close their doors for major clean-up operations, although some were back in business sooner than others.

Paul Barron, branch manager at Yorkshire Building Society, said: “I heard a rush of water towards the fire exit and then realised it was coming up through the floor. By the time I got my head around it, there was water coming through the front door.

“We had to evacuate customers out of the back door. The scariest part was just how fast it was flooding into the building.”

Nigel Short, duty manager at Iceland, told how a river came through the store, leaving the eight-foot-deep lift shaft well at the back of the shop full to the brim.

“We saw the water coming up over the kerb outside,” he said. “It only took about 15 minutes from the time the rain started falling to when it flooded into the shop.

“After half-an-hour, it was running like a river out the back door. The power went off in the shop. The lift shaft in the back has a well about eight feet deep and the water was level with the top.”

Staff worked through Friday night to have the store re-opened on Saturday morning. Area manager Roy Houldsworth said: “Our staff in Alnwick did a fantastic job in extremely difficult circumstances.”

Anna Kruk, customer service advisor at the county council’s Greenwell Lane office, said: “Within 10 minutes of the rain starting, water was coming under the door. We had to unplug everything in a hurry.”