‘Like starting again - you can’t buy memories’

Donna Murphy at her flood home in Sanworth Street, Tormorden.
Donna Murphy at her flood home in Sanworth Street, Tormorden.

As the flood clean-up continues in the Calder Valley, residents and householders face a long road to recovery as they deal with the huge impact of the Boxing Day deluge.

While business owners face their own challenges, with some making the difficult decision to shut up shop completely, householders have also been left counting the cost.

For many, a sense of ‘normality’ seems a world away.

Donna Murphy’s home in Sanworth Street, Todmorden, was one of many affected when her cellar filled with 6ft of water.

Mrs Murphy, 49, who runs the Bridge Cafe, Burnley Road, said: “Everything was floating about, I just could not believe it.

“It was devastating. I think it will be two to three months yet until we get back to normality. We’ve lost a couple of thousand pounds. We didn’t have any power for two days, my fridge and freezers were full so we lost about £700 that way.

“You don’t realise how much you have until it’s there in one big lump sum.”

Although the main part of the house wasn’t affected, flood-ravaged items from the cellar had to be dragged through the house, causing damage.

Despite material loss, Mrs Murphy said that it’s the loss of the personal, irreplaceable items which hits the hardest.

“It’s the photographs, the things my grandkids have made at school, the little things things you keep, it’s those memories.

“I have nothing from them growing up now, it’s like having to start all over again.

“You can’t buy memories again.

“Until it happens, you don’t realise how devastating it actually is.”