Pub staff have ‘hardly slept’ after £28k flood damage

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Pouring rain: pubs across the UK have been impacted by thunderstorms (image: Huw Jones, The Sportsmans Rest)
Pouring rain: pubs across the UK have been impacted by thunderstorms (image: Huw Jones, The Sportsmans Rest)

Related tags: Water

A pub operator has shared his experiences of flooding this week after heavy rain caused £28,000 worth of damage to his site.

Parts of the Midlands, Wales and southern England were hit by a week’s worth of rain in just one hour on Tuesday (1 October 2019).

It comes ahead of Hurricane Lorenzo later this week, which will have weakened by the time it gets to the UK but is still expected to bring heavy rain and strong winds.

Flooding was so heavy at the Riverside Tavern, Medway, Kent, that water came up to owner Luke Gallacher’s knees.

The pub was forced to close for most of Monday after it flooded in the early hours, with damage to its bottle fridges and electrics. 

Full-on clean-up

Water damage to the floors means the pub will likely need electrical rewiring, with estimations set to cost the operator around £28,000.

He said the clean-up operation had been an exhausting process but was kept going by the support of staff and regulars.

He told The Morning Advertiser​: “It's been full-on, we have been here for days and days cleaning up. We've hardly slept. 

“Mainly it's just the muck, we still haven't got round to doing all of the garden yet but the actual inside of the pub is a lot better than it was.”

Staff managed to save most of the furniture by moving it to higher areas before the rain hit but laminate flooring will need replacing.

Staff efforts

He said: “It is very daunting. We are about 98% operational electrics-wise but we are having to rewire things as we go along because of the damage.”

“[The customer and staff reaction] has been lovely, we have had a lot of regulars come down and help us. 

“A lot of the staff came in on their day off because we just love the pub so much and we just want to get it back up and running again.”

Other pubs affected by the weather include sites in Cornwall, Devon, and south Wales.

Riverside pub the Sportsmans Rest, in the Vale of Glamorgan, south Wales, also flooded after the bank of the River Ely burst. 

The pub (pictured) was forced to close on Sunday morning (29 September 2019) and missed out on trade from Wales’s success in the Rugby World Cup.

The Sportsmans Rest experienced flooding after the bank of a nearby river burst
The Sportsmans Rest experienced flooding after the bank of a nearby river burst

Village effort

Locals helped the pub to move furniture inside the pub and cars from the car park in preparation of floods.

Operator Huw Jones said he estimated damage to stock and equipment alone would cost the pub up to £15,000. 

He told The Morning Advertiser​: "The cost will go up as time goes on and we find out more things that we have forgotten to claim for or when we get ready to get up and running. 

"We have flooded six or seven times over the past 15 years, when there is a threat of a flood villagers and customers who drink in the pub normally ring up and see if there's anything they can do."

The Ship Inn in Mevagissey, Cornwall, was flooded after high tides flooded over the quayside wall.

Staff used sandbags to try and keep the water out but the main bar area still flooded.

Related topics: Health & safety, Events & Occasions

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