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Richfords Fire & Flood remembers Boscastle devastation

By West Briton  |  Posted: August 21, 2014

  • The scene of devastation that greeted Richfords Fire & Flood a decade ago.

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A POOL company has been recalling its involvement in efforts to help with the devastation caused by the Boscastle floods a decade ago.

On August 16, 2004, Boscastle was hit with one of the most extreme weather events experienced in the county when the river above the port burst its banks and unleashed a violent surge of water through the picturesque village.

The water moved so quickly that it picked up cars and even motor homes, before slamming them into buildings and then washing them out the sea.

Among those called to deal with the devastation was Pool-based Richford's Fire & Flood.

Owner Steven Richford remembers the scenes first-hand.

"This was such an extreme event that it was a miracle that nobody was killed, although many people had to be rescued by helicopter from their rooftops.

"One particularly memorable thing was the heavy mud and clay that was left in people's homes once the flooding subsided.

"We often see silt and debris in homes, but at Boscastle it was much heavier material that was washed down the hill from above the village.

"We were shocked by how quickly the flooding happened. For instance, we attended one property where the occupier had been sitting down to dinner when the water rushed in and when we arrived his dinner was still on the table surrounded by flood water and debris."

The company also had a particularly busy winter period, dealing with the aftermath of the ferocious winter storms felt around the country.

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