What a difference a fortnight makes as Otterburn Mill shop reopens after devastating floods

A mill shop devastated by overnight flooding has reopened its main premises less than a fortnight later.

Tuesday, 27th August 2019, 11:41 am
Updated Wednesday, 28th August 2019, 1:57 pm
The flooded premises earlier this month, left, and after the clean up.

Otterburn Mill suffered at least £50,000 damage to stock after the nearby River Rede burst its banks in the early hours of August 11.

Dozens of staff rushed to the store to rescue clothing, footwear and other outdoor accessories and move them across to the business’s nearby cafe and office building after two feet of water seeped into the premises.

A temporary shop opened above the cafe less than 48 hours later while the mammoth clean-up operation continued.

The revamped Otterburn Mill.

Now the mill has announced that it has returned to its main store with owner Euan Pringle, who was devastated by the deluge, praising everyone who has helped the business since the deluge.

An Otterburn Mill spokeswoman said: "Otterburn Mill is extremely thankful for help for their staff, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, local businesses, their suppliers and also the support of the local community.

"Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service attended the incident, spending the morning pumping water from the car park at Otterburn Mill in an attempt to stop further water flowing into the already flooded shop.

"The fire brigade, travelling from Bellingham which is just eight miles away from Otterburn Mill, went above and beyond even helping clearing drains around the site to help water drain away from the property.

"The clean-up operation began almost immediately, with an army of staff arriving on the Sunday to clean the Weavers Café that had also been flooded, along with setting up a temporary shop in an office space upstairs."

While the buildings are said to have flooded regularly while a working mill, Mr Pringle said he had not experienced anything similar in 23 years of owning the premises.

The mill spokeswoman said: "Whether this extreme flooding becomes a more frequent event for Otterburn Mill remains to be seen."

Around 30 homes in Otterburn suffered a loss of power during the weekend downpour while the B6320, between the A68 and Otterburn, was also briefly closed due to flooding.