'Silent' waters rose while family slept
A FLOODED-OUT homeowner has described how the "silent" waters poured into his Grade II-listed house, writes Carl Eve.
Sam Richmond and his wife Selina could face months in temporary accommodation – and a huge clear-up bill.
The couple and their eight-year-old son live beside a stream in Tamerton Foliot, one of the worst-hit areas in the city.
Sam said he hard warned both the council and the Environment Agency "countless times" that the area was at risk of flooding.
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The 33-year-old said Selina, suffering from a sore back, had chosen to sleep on the downstairs living room sofa on Tuesday evening.
But in the early hours she awoke with a start after she rolled over – and her hand plopped into cold water.
"Our dog Jackson was up to his chest in the kitchen and Selina shouted up to me," Sam said. "There was about 18inches of water in the house. It was absolutely silent coming in.
"The water didn't start dispersing until around 8.30am. All the electricity tripped so we've had no heating."
Sam said he was meant to leave on Thursday to work offshore on a survey ship, but had to cancel to sort out the damage, which includes the total loss of Selina's Audi car.
Sam said he had warned the Environment Agency and Plymouth City Council "countless times" about a culvert which sits on higher ground above his home and The Kings Arms pub, which was also badly flooded.
A small stream in the field often overflows when the culvert becomes blocked with debris, he said.
"This time it was a children's tent and other debris," Sam added.
The Environment Agency did not respond to the claims.
But a Plymouth Transport and Highways spokesperson said: "We are aware that a residential property and a public house in Tamerton Foliot have experienced flooding as a result of an Environment Agency culvert overflowing.
"This was probably caused by a build-up of leaves and debris being swept into the culvert by recent heavy rainfall.
"We have been in the area clearing and checking our own culverts, and are aware the Environment Agency has also been out to monitor the culvert that caused this flooding.
"To date, the Plymouth Watchman team has not received any reports of flooding due to their culvert from Mr Richmond."