January 15th 2019 is a day Milford residents Ian and Cathy – along with a few other property holders near the King William – will never forget.
It was the day a water pipe burst on a field up in Holbrook, sending water cascading down to the east side of the village on the busy A6.
The water gushes out of a Holbrook field
It is reported that the burst was caused by a farmer knocking posts into the ground.
After firing high into the air, the water flooded through Milford & Makeney for five hours.
The home of Ian Bustin and his partner Cathy, who runs Riverside Floristry from their home, was affected the worst as they were directly in the path of the huge gush.
One wonders how much worse this incident would have been had not most of the water surged through a passageway in Ian and Cathy’s house and cascaded into the river (see photo below)
Imagine a water pipe like this bursting at the top of King Street in Belper – there would have been nowhere for the water to go other than onto the streets
Ian said it took just 30 minutes for the water to reach the height of their table. ‘We didn’t have time to say “what do you save”‘, he said.
‘It went from a trickle to about three feet in the space of 25 minutes.
The volume of water was like a white water river. If you put a sand bag down it would just disappear into the river. It’s devastated the house.’
Richard Stanfield, who lives next door to Ian, was evacuated from his home by fire and rescue. Moments before, he had seen motorbikes swept into the road and tried in vain to stop the flow ravaging his home by plugging the door with towels.
Quick thinking at the Holly Bush Inn prevented the pub from being overcome by the water. During the flooding, temporary fencing in the form of plastic sheets were used to stop the gallons of gushing water entering the pub.
As owner Chris Wilbraham recounted: ‘Luckily we had some sheets on the roof which we could use to block the water from the pub. If we didn’t have them, it would have been much worse and totally flooded us.
‘You would have had to have been here to appreciate the force and speed of the water as it came down. It was incredible. I’ve never seen anything like it; it was like a river.
Chris had time to add some levity to the incident. Praising the emergency services for cleaning up through the night, he added: ‘I had to laugh when one of the council workers said “damn to saving the road, let’s save the pub first”.’
A few days later, Ian and Cathy sent this message to the Webmaster: ‘A sincere thank you to everyone for their thoughts and best wishes following the flooding at 1 The Bridge. Many people have dropped by with offers of help and this is greatly appreciated. Severn Trent have been fantastic and are in to the process of cleaning up. It will probably be a couple of months until we are right but we will be at home. Flowers still available through Cathy!’
For BBC Report and pictures, click here
For video of the scenes around Milford & Makeney, click here
For videos on Twitter, click here
In this Daily Telegraph report – click here – the farmer at the heart of this incident describes the moment a 100 foot wall of water shot from the ground as he fixed a fence.