Borders couple who spent £10k of their own money on flood defences have been left homeless after second river burst in a year

A Borders couple today expressed their despair after being left homeless by devastating floods for the second time in a year.

By Paul Kelly
Wednesday, 24th February 2021, 12:45 pm
Glen Clayton outside his flooded home at Crowbyres. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)
Glen Clayton outside his flooded home at Crowbyres. (Photo: BILL McBURNIE)

Tracy and Glen Clayton only moved into their detached bungalow at Crowbyres Cottages outside Hawick in November of 2019.

But within weeks the property was flooded when the banks of the Slitrig burst.

The flood caused substantial internal damage to the property and they lost a number of personal items, including precious family photographs.

They were unable to return to their home for four months and had to pay a substantial amount to repair it – including £10k on flood protection.

But their worst fears were realised last night when they were flooded again.

Now they are staying in the home of friends nearby and are contemplating how they can once again put their lives back on track.

Tracy, 48, said: “We completely flooded this time last year when we had been here for just three months. We flooded all through and we were out of the property for four months and had to do a refurbishment ourselves because our insurance refused to cover us.

"It cost a substantial amount of money. We had to have all the kitchen taken out, all the flooring, all the woodwork, all the doors and all of our furniture was ruined, in addition to personal belongings, including family photographs. It was devastating financially and emotionally.

"Last night it again travelled all the way through the house and it is uninhabitable again. It has ruined all the floors and there is still water in the house and it is thick with river mud, so it is on the carpets, all the flooring, the kitchen.

"The water came in from under the kitchen units and they are all going to be contaminated.

"We have no family locally. We have some friends who put us up last night and we have pets, two dogs and a cat, so at the moment we are homeless and I’m in the process of speaking to the insurance company to see how we deal with this.

"We didn’t even get a flood warning for the Slitrig yesterday when it was happening. We knew when we were sitting in our living room and one of our neighbours banged on our door because she noticed and that was around five o’clock and I got a text with a flood warning at quarter to 11 – but we had already flooded.

"We found a flood prevention company last year and paid for new barriers, had flood prevention bricks put in, have a sump pump under the house. We basically spent ten thousand pounds on flood defences, we used our life savings to get the house back.

"It kept it back for a reasonable amount of time yesterday but eventually water found its way in because of the severity of it.”

Tracy works in finance from home as a PA and Glen is a delivery driver for Morrisons.

Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson visited the scene today and said “people are living in fear”.

He added: “Some people at Crowbyres have been flooded two or three times, maybe more. Something has to be done about it. I’ve written to the council officers asking for support. These folk are living in fear of rainfall.”