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One year on: Long Stratton Councillor Alison Thomas looks back on devastating floods

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A year after her house was hit by devastating floods, one Long Stratton woman has spoken about her family’s experience.

On December 24, 2020, much of Suffolk and Norfolk was hit by some of the worst floods seen in decades, forcing families from their homes and causing hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage in the process.

County and district councillor Alison Thomas was unable to return to her Long Stratton home for almost nine months, while others faced even longer delays.

Long Stratton was hit by severe flooding on Christmas Eve last year. (52558654)
Long Stratton was hit by severe flooding on Christmas Eve last year. (52558654)

“We were out for my daughter’s 21st birthday; she had just come back from studying at university,” she said. “When we came back, there was a lot of water coming up to the house.

“We got straight into our wellies and were trying to fight it off; battling to stop it coming into the house through the front door.

“When I went inside, I realised it was already coming up through the floor. It was then a case of trying to save as much as we could.”

A year on, Mrs Thomas said it was strange putting up Christmas decorations when they did not stay up for long last time.

“My daughter came back in December for my birthday and she said she didn’t recognise it as home,” she said.

“The floor was ripped up, skirting boards and wood panelling on the walls had to be replaced.

“My daughter was born here so it was quite a shock to her. It’s just a bit weird; it’s our home, but it feels new.”

Over the last year, Mrs Thomas said she had channelled her energy into trying to make sure no one else will have to go through what her family has experienced.

“We can’t stop it from raining; we can’t help that it rained through November to December,” she said.

“We can, however, encourage and, if necessary, use enforcement to get landowners to prepare watercourses on their land.”

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