All hands to pump as Devizes fruit and veg warehouse is flooded
Updated 3:57pm Monday 6th January 2014 in By Jill Crooks, Devizes area senior reporter
The boss of fruit and vegetable delivery company 5ADayBox in Coate praised the community, fire fighters and his staff after their premises were flooded following the torrential rain.
The premises, in Bystone Lane, has been flooded in the past but managing director Ken Mortimer said this time had been the worst they had experienced.
He said: “I have been on this site for 15 years at least and it has been flooded to about a foot deep and once to an inch in the warehouse, but at the weekend it was four feet in the warehouse.”
There is a brook 100 feet below 5ADayBox’s premises but Mr Mortimer said the flooding occurred due to water running off the nearby saturated fields.
The flooding started on Christmas Eve but was excerebated last weekend and affected two offices and one warehouse.
The worst day was Saturday and fire fighters from Devizes and Royal Wootton Bassett spent more than seven hours at the premises pumping out water. A crew from Devizes returned on Sunday and spent four hours pumping out water.
Staff spent hours moving produce from the warehouse that began to flood to the other warehouse which was dry and the flooding did not stop the company despatching deliveries all over the country.
IT consultant Will Long even stripped off to his underpants and waded through floodwater to retrieve a computer printer preventing it from being damaged.
Mr Mortimer said: “Our staff have been phenomenal and have come in to help. The fire brigade have been phenomenal. We have also had a lot of local support. A builder, who I don’t know, turned up with two submersible pumps which kept the office dry.
“Matthew Smith, the landlord of the Bridge Inn at Horton, turned up with another pump and local farmers Keith and Jeremy Stokes used an excavator from Martin Bodman at Urchfont to dig a new culvert so the massive run off of water has somewhere to escape to.
“We’ve had no disruption to customers, we managed to keep going all the way through. We have a very active Facebook page and customers have been amazingly supportive and thanking us for getting their boxes to them.”
Fire fighters attended five other flooding incidents in the Devizes area.
A crew from Devizes were called at 4.40am on Saturday to a house in Southbroom Road where water was coming in through the roof. Fire fighters helped the householder put a polythene sheet in place as a temporary measure.
A crew from Trowbridge pumped out water from a house in Kings Road, Easterton, at 10.30am on Saturday while a crew from Melksham pumped water away from a house in Hawkstreet, Bromham, at 11.45am.
A crew from Devizes pumped out water from a house in Manor Farm Lane, Patney, on Saturday evening and helped the householders mop up.
Fire fighters from Marlborough spent two hours pumping water away from a house in The Green, Poulshot, on Saturday afternoon but due to the rain which continued on Sunday a crew from Devizes were called there at 6.20pm when water got into the house and fire fighters helped pump out water.