Bradford on Avon businesses continue the mop up after Christmas Eve storm
Arlene Haddow and Mark Kendall proprietors of The Fat Fowl restaurant in Bradford on Avon count the cost of damage
Businesses in Bradford on Avon are coming to terms with the aftermath of the flooding that brought the town to a standstill on Christmas Eve, with some unlikely to reopen for weeks.
Heavy storms overnight on Monday caused major disruption to roads across Wiltshire and resulted in the River Avon bursting its banks at either end of the Town Bridge just before midday on Tuesday.
As a result, the bridge was closed to both pedestrians and motorists on Christmas Eve, before being reopened yesterday after workers from Wiltshire Council cleared the debris.
However, the flooding has caused damage to about 12 properties, including The Fat Fowl restaurant on Silver Street, which had to cancel all Christmas bookings.
Owner Arlene Caddow said: “We didn’t get anymore water overnight, but I have never seen it come up that high. It’s just a case of clearing up now and waiting to see what the insurance company says.
“All the floors and the wooden panels are damaged and the kitchen is also bad. The water just gets everywhere and we can’t open again until it’s sanitised.
“We have started clearing up and we have salvaged anything that could be saved, but I have never seen so many properties affected by the water. We will definitely be having stone flooring next time.
“Local people have been amazing and they have been helpful and popping into to see what they can do, but motorists have been very inconsiderate.”
“I think it will be at least a month to six weeks before we can open again. This is the irritating part as we just want to get on with the clear up.”
Other businesses that have been affected include the Silver Street Custom Tattoo Shop, The Swan Hotel - which remains open - and The Teapot Café.
James Sullivan-Tailyour, owner of The Swan Hotel, said: “The only time we closed was from 9.30am to 7pm on the 24th as we didn’t have any electricity, but we have been open since then.
“We served 50 people for the Christmas lunch and we were open throughout the day. We will continue to operate fully, serving lunch and dinner, and our car park is now accessible.
“In the short term, we have turned it around pretty quickly and we would encourage people to come to Bradford on Avon and support the businesses. However, behind the scenes there is still a lot of work to do.
“We did lose business and something like this wipes away months and months of good trading and any profits go straight back into getting us back on our feet again.”
Mr Sullivan-Tailyour confirmed that The Swan Hotel would still be opening for a New Year’s Eve celebration, although it would no longer be in the Cellar Bar, which was badly affected.
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