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Allan and Lillian's story: “It was like a tsunami hit our garden"

Flood - the Richmonds outside their refurbished Rotherham home© Info

Allan and Lillian Richmond had just retired and were looking forward to going on holiday in the USA when the 2007 summer floods hit. Lillian had been busy packing the night before the floods struck and all of the couples’ clothes and shoes were downstairs. As soon as the water came gushing through the doors, the couple rushed upstairs.

On the next day, when the water went down, the couple discovered that everything was ruined. Furniture, pottery, which had been collected for years, was smashed and irreplaceable sentimental items including family photo albums. "This," according to Allan "was where the misery began."

Allan and Lillian spent the first nine months of their retirement living upstairs. They dined out at the local pub nearly every night. Following the damage, one of their retirement plans of moving closer to their son is practically impossible.

Help with funds

The Richmonds missed out on their holiday last year and will hopefully go away this year since the house refurbishments have just been completed. However, they remain wary of possible future floods

According to Allan: “If it wasn’t for the Red Cross we wouldn’t have had any help at all. The funds we received helped with absolute necessities like clothes, shoes and food.”

Read more stories of people helped through the National Floods Appeal

Find out how to prepare for floods and other disasters