Alconbury couple still can't go home five months after devastating flood

Lee and Lorriane Matthews

Lee and Lorriane Matthews outside their home on the Brookside in Alconbury are still unable to move back into their home. - Credit: Archant

A couple from Alconbury have shared their pain, after still not being able to move back into their home, five months on from devastating flooding at Christmas.

Lee and Lorraine Matthews, who live on the Brookside, opposite Alconbury Brook, were evacuated from their home, two days after Christmas Day in 2020. 

Inside Lorraine and Lee's home when the flooding happened (December 23)

Inside Lorraine and Lee's home when the flooding happened (December 23) - Credit: Lorraine Matthews

Five months on, and they have still not been able to move back and the inside of their home is still an empty shell and they are currently living, in rented accommodation.  

A measuring stick that sits in Alconbury Brook measured eight feet, on December 23 the water rose.  

Measuring Stick in Alconbury Brook 

Measuring Stick in Alconbury Brook - Credit: Archant

Lee said: “The water came up so fast on the 23rd and by midnight it was in the house and there was nothing we could do.  


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“We got as much upstairs as we could including the dogs, the following morning we were still in the house.  

“Then something happened upstream, and in a couple of hours it literally dropped four and a half feet."

Outside their home (December 23)

Outside their home (December 23) - Credit: Lorraine Matthews

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Lorraine said: “Our warning for the flood was too late, so I think that needs to be addressed. 

“I think because it was Christmas and they had skeleton staff working.

“Trying to find temporary accommodation with two dogs was really difficult and incredibly stressful." 

As the flooding ripped through their home, it destroyed all of the downstairs flooring, and kitchen.  

Lee said: “When the water was gone, the filth and stench was left behind, you cannot imagine the smell it makes. 

“The kitchen and the furniture was totally contaminated, we have only just finished ripping out the door frames, last week.”  

Inside of Lorraine and Lee's home is just an inner shell. 

Inside of Lorraine and Lee's home is just an inner shell. - Credit: Archant

Lorraine and Lee have managed to get the front of their house and garden finished so far, with a new front door fitted.  

But the inside of the house remains an empty shell, Lorraine explained that they had to use all their savings to redo the home as well as claim on their insurance.

Lorraine and Lee attended the ‘Floodmobile’ event today in Alconbury (May 27) 

Alconbury Brook

Alconbury Brook - Credit: Archant

Lorraine said: “This event will really help people today, you need a support mechanism, that was one thing that I found, that the neighbours that hadn’t been affected were helping those who had been affected.”

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