Stressed Ladock residents await more flooding misery
THIS year's festive season is one many in a village near Truro will never forget after seeing their homes flooded twice in just four weeks.
Fifteen homes in Ladock were deluged by the Tresillian River when it burst its banks on December 22.
Villagers still clearing up from a flood on November 24 watched in horror as water seeped through walls and under doors, causing devastation for a second time.
And with more heavy rain forecast, residents were bracing themselves for further flooding.
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Faith Truscott, who has formed a residents' group demanding better protection for their properties, has been repeatedly flooded since she moved into the house more than 30 years ago.
Many of her belongings, including a treasured book collection, remain upstairs in bedrooms in case the floods return.
"We were badly hit in 2000 when we had a monumental deluge," she said. "We're always watching the river.
"We had minor floods in the 1980s and 1990s, and after 2000 the Environment Agency and South West Water agreed to dredge the river and clear the land drains.
"They also rebuilt the kissing gate bridge. It helped, but it's been an exceptionally wet summer. People blame climate change but I think a lot is down to agricultural practices; farmers used to use more ditches.
"It's a waiting game and very stressful as we have no idea when, or if, the floods will return," she said.
Having seen many residents leave their homes for the Christmas holiday, she has written to Ladock Parish Council calling for an urgent meeting to discuss a plan of action.
Theresa Edwards, who has lived in her cottage for 17 years, is backing calls for more of the waterways to be cleared and a new pipe and drains installed in Church Hill.
She said: "The drains just can't cope in heavy rain. We noticed a difference after the river was dredged but more needs to be cleared to ease the flow and stop it bursting its banks."
She has been helping a recently widowed neighbour in her seventies who she said was devastated by the flood.
Mrs Edwards has had her home decontaminated twice and is living in cramped conditions on the first floor while she waits for the rain to stop.
"It's very difficult to be positive; it's that old Dunkirk spirit," she said.
"When it rains I can't sleep. Everything is in such a mess."