Bradford on Avon firms count the cost of festive floods
Businesses in Bradford on Avon are counting the cost of the damage caused by the floods on Christmas Eve.
Heavy storms last Monday caused the River Avon to burst its banks on Tuesday, submerging the town and closing the Town Bridge until Boxing Day.
Becky Tyler, owner of The Teapot Café in Silver Street, said: “It’s been a really good year, but it’s a bad way to end it. We are probably going to be closed for at least a month as the dirty water went into the kitchen and everything needs to be discarded.
“We were open at 9am on Tuesday and I didn’t think we would have a problem, but then half an hour later the water was by the roundabout. An hour later it was coming in and people were still having breakfast.”
The Bridge Tea Rooms in Bridge Street suffered £10,000-£15,000 damage to equipment.
The tearooms reopened on Monday and owner Roy Hayward said: “We didn’t have electricity for 72 hours, so we couldn’t do anything until Friday and we lost three to four days of stock.”
The floodwater reached 1.60 metres in the cellar of The Three Gables in St Margaret’s Street and the restaurant had to cancel around 130 bookings over the Christmas period.
Co-owner Vito Scaduto said: “The water had gone by Boxing Day but the cellar had to be drained. We have a humidifier and are drying things out but we have lost a lot of equipment, fridges, freezers, and we had to throw away a lot of food.”
The Fat Fowl restaurant in Silver Street had to cancel all Christmas bookings.
Owner Arlene Caddow said: “All the floors and wooden panels are damaged and the kitchen is also bad. The water just gets everywhere, it will be at least a month before we can reopen.”
The Swan Hotel was closed from 9.30am-7pm on Christmas Eve due to no electricity. Despite the Cellar Bar being flooded, the hotel was up and running on Christmas Day, serving 50 Christmas lunches.
Owner James Sullivan-Tailyour said: “We turned it around pretty fast. However, behind the scenes there is still a lot of work to do.
“We did lose business and something like this wipes away months of good trading and any profits go straight back into getting us back on our feet again.”
Shauna Green, who has owned the Bread and Butter sandwich shop in Silver Street since August, was hoping to re-open this week. She said: “Best case scenario is we open in a week, but it could be several. It depends how long it takes to dry out, then I can start to refurbish and paint. It needs an industrial deep clean.
“We have had lots of messages of support from other businesses. There is a sense that everyone wants everyone to do well.”
Businesses and residents of Bradford on Avon remain vigilant of the weather, meanwhile, with the Environment Agency issuing flood alert warnings after further heavy rain this week.
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