A shop owner was left “devastated” by flooding on his first full day of trading after lockdown restrictions were eased.

Dale Street in Milnrow, Rochdale was “completely flooded” when the River Beal burst its banks on Monday evening.

“This can’t carry on – it is the fifth flood in five years since the” Philip Holt who owns Carpet Creations said.

Councillor Andy Kelly said it was the worst flood he had seen in 20 years.


Image captionCouncillor Andy Kelly said the Victorian drainage system could not cope
Street flooded
Image caption Tim Bobbin pub was also flooded

The Lib Dem Milnrow and Newhey councilor said it was the “quickest and the deepest” flood he had witnessed, adding it was a “massive indication of climate change” made worst by the “very old Victorian sewages” in the village.

Councillor Irene Davidson, who also represents Milnrow and Newhey ward, said: “The river rose so fast and the bottom of Dale Street was completely flooded”.

She said the area – near to the River Beal – was prone to flooding but a “lot of money” had been spent on clearing drains in the last few years.

However, she said this had “not worked”.

Carpet shop owner Philip Holt with carpet ruined by flood water
Image captionCarpet shop owner Philip Holt says “something has to be done” to prevent more floods

Mr. Holt, who employs six staff, said: “We’re devastated but we’ll dust ourselves down and reopen on Wednesday but we can’t keep doing this.”

The 55-year-old said previous floods had cost him about £10,000 and he was unable to get insured due to the premises being in a flood area.

He said seeing the damage was “emotional as I put every single penny back into the business”.

Inside flooded carpet shop

“Something needs to be done. The drainage system can’t cope,” Mr. Holt added.

“I think we get forgotten because we are in a little village.”

Local charity shop Village Treasures and the Tim Bobbin pub, which Mr. Holt said had been refurbished during the lockdown, were also flooded.

Fiona Wilson, from the charity shop, said the floodwater backed up through the drains into the middle of the store.

“We’ve got what smells like sewage coming from our floor – it’s pretty manky,” she said.

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