Brent Knoll landlord counts the cost of flooding

Burnham and Highbridge Weekly News: Mike Ostler surveys the damage to the Red Cow Inn, Brent Street. Mike Ostler surveys the damage to the Red Cow Inn, Brent Street.

A BRENT Knoll landlord was left with a £5,000 refurbishment bill after his pub was submerged under murky flood water twice in the same week.

Mike Ostler, who co-owns the Red Cow Inn in Brent Street with his wife Janet and son Andrew, battled to pump standing water out of the pub’s kitchen and bar on Saturday, just three days after it was first flooded on Wednesday.

Staff mucked in to salvage furniture after an overflowing rhyne at the front of the pub coupled with rising waters at the back combined to create a foot-deep pool throughout much of the ground floor on Wednesday.

Fire crews, who were in the street protecting homes from flooding, later helped pump the remaining water out of the pub, enabling Mr Ostler and friend to rip up the sodden carpets.

A second deluge on Saturday caused another, less severe flood, cleared up using the pub’s own pumps.

“I have never seen anything like this in the 32 years I’ve been here,” said Mr Ostler, who worked fast to get the pub back open within 24 hours of the first flood.

“I want to thank all the staff and our customers who were coming in asking if they could help – it was wonderful to see.

“Of course we will take every precaution we can for the future but you never know what is around the corner.”

Brent Knoll was among the area’s worst-affected villages following downpours, with fire crews battling to pump up to 8ft of water away from homes in Brent Street.

There were similar scenes as police closed Brent Road in East Brent to allow fire crews to pump out homes and gardens, while floods also caused dangerous driving conditions in Brean, Berrow, East Huntspill and Maple Drive in Burnham-on-Sea.

More heavy rain at the weekend left Vole Road in Mark under six inches of water and there was a second round of floods along Berrow’s Coast Road and in Warren Road in Brean.

Apex Wildlife and Leisure Park in Highbridge looked like it had adopted a second lake on Sunday as water levels submerged footpaths and benches.

Derek Chivers, of Friends of Apex Park, also said gusting winds on Saturday night brought down a tree in the park.

“We have had flooding here before but this is worst I have ever seen it,” said Mr Chivers.

“Anyone walking around here now should take great care because it is hard to tell where the flooding leads into the lake at some places.

“The grass is also very saturated, so there is the added risk of slipping and I would urge dog walkers to keep their pets on leads.”

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