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Dulverton pub re-opens after flood damage repairs
AFTER losing more than six weeks of trade and undergoing a complete transformation, a Dulverton pub has reopened after it was struck by floods last year.
The Bridge Inn suffered tens of thousands of pounds worth of damage when three feet of water flowed through it after the River Barle burst its banks on December 22.
Kenny and Rachel McDonald, who have owned the pub for six years, worked tirelessly with staff members over the next two days to ensure it could re-open for bookings on Boxing Day.
But once the insurance company had completed a full survey, they said it would need to shut down for about six weeks for significant repairs.
Mr McDonald said: “The entire ground floor had to be stripped out, including the kitchen, flooring and plasterwork. We are covered by insurance but it never quite makes up for the loss of trade. Our customers had to go elsewhere – we didn’t expect them notto go out for six weeks.
“But it has been very busy since we re-opened on Thursday night and we’re hoping that continues. Our staff and the community have been brilliant.”
But the publican was less than impressed with the Environment Agency during and since the flooding, adding: “They have been hopeless. We are going to build our own floodgates to protect ourselves because we can’t rely on them. I only ever had one call from them, which Ithink is appalling.”
Mike Dunning from the EA said a reconnaissance team was sent to the town to assess the extent of the flooding during what he stresses were extreme conditions.
He said: “Our teams were responding to reports of flood across the region and were exceptionally busy around thattime.
“We called the landlord at the Bridge Inn a couple of weeks later, when he said he felt he hadn’t received enough support from the Environment Agency.
“We’re sorry his business was adversely affected by the floods. The agency was at full stretch and didn’t have the resources to visit every person who had flooded.”
A drop-in event organised by the EA at Dulverton Town Hall at 7pm on March 28 will give people a chance to share their experiences and concerns and discuss ways of improving the level of flood protection in the town.