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Rochdale town centre businesses after Saturday’s flood

Date published: 18 March 2019


The Rochdale borough narrowly avoided a repeat of the infamous Boxing Day 2015 flood on Saturday (16 March), after heavy rainfall saw the Roch and Beal rivers burst their banks.

Water levels in Rochdale centre came perilously close to flowing over the bridges near the council offices and The Butts, with shopkeepers on The Walk building a wall of sandbags to prevent repeat damage.

 

Shopkeepers on The Walk
Shopkeepers on The Walk

 

Greg Couzens, who runs a hair salon on The Walk, said: “We survived on this occasion. We had wonderful prior warning from the Environment Agency, so we managed to move all our stock from the ground floor.

“We were also given flood defence supplies on The Walk after the last flood, so the door to the salon was sealed.

“It was an amazing testament as all the shops pulled together and helped each other.

“The council now needs to look at the underground reservoir in Littleborough. That should be their main priority.”

Water drains in the centre overflowed, resulting in the flooding of the cellars and basements of some businesses.

Fishwick Newsagents on The Butts, and Philip Buckley Menswear, South Parade, both told Rochdale Online they experienced flooding in their cellars, whilst The Curry Spot on The Butts, is currently closed due to flooding.

 

Ladbrokes and Curry Spot - Craig Szlatoszlavek
Ladbrokes and Curry Spot - Craig Szlatoszlavek

 

Curry Spot is closed after flood
The Curry Spot is closed after the flood

 

Fishwick newsagents - Elizabeth Fenton
Fishwick Newsagents - Elizabeth Fenton

 

Mr Buckley said: “I’m just overwhelmed. We’ve had to condense two floors of stock into one, making the shop and displays look so unorganised and like a jumble sale.

“Thankfully, we haven’t lost any stock, but we’ve lost a whole floor. I left at 5.30pm on Saturday and there was nothing, but by the time I came back at 6.30pm, the whole lower floor was flooded.

“The shop’s only four months old and we didn’t have flood insurance, as we were refused insurance from companies due to the last flood.

“On the plus side, we have the stock but it’s just an inconvenience, hassle and time consuming - especially with the expense since we’re a new business.”

 

Buckley Menswear has water damage under the flooring
Buckley Menswear has water damage under the flooring

 

The lower floor of Buckley Menswear flooded
The lower floor of Buckley Menswear flooded on Saturday evening

 

Flood water was ankle-deep at Buckley Menswear
Flood water was ankle-deep at Buckley Menswear 

 

Ladbrokes said they had no flooding, just puddles, and no flooding occurred in the Rochdale Market Foodhall and Café in the former Santander bank building on The Butts.

Peter Jordan, who runs the egg stall, said: “I wasn’t worried about it flooding, even though Saturday was horrendous with heavy rain.

“I believe we successfully kept the flood away as we were alerted early. There is nothing you can do about nature.”

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