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Flood washed away garden




Alan and Hazel Tokley in their flood-wrecked garden on the riverside at Surfleet. SG010518-232TW
Alan and Hazel Tokley in their flood-wrecked garden on the riverside at Surfleet. SG010518-232TW

A Surfleet couple are pursuing an insurance claim after a huge chunk of their garden was washed away following a flood on the River Glen.

Alan and Hazel Tokley, of Station Road, say their garden flooded at the same time as gardens lay inches deep in water at Surfleet Reservoir in April.

This aerial shot shows the couple's garden in good order before the April flood. (SG010518-233TW)
This aerial shot shows the couple's garden in good order before the April flood. (SG010518-233TW)

Mrs Tokley said because the sluice gates were opened – and the river level was artificially dropped so quickly – they lost half their garden and their flood barrier.

“It was quite surprising, actually, how quickly the water just suddenly gushed away,” said Mrs Tokley. “It was like taking a plug out of the bath. It (the water) went so fast, even the ducks were going backwards.”

The couple contacted their insurance company and Mrs Tokley says the company was reluctant at first to accept their claim, initially blaming the collapse of their garden on “erosion”.

But she says their land was well maintained and the company is now accepting that their claim is genuine and will be sending a structural engineer to look at the damage.

The Tokleys spent their working lives in blue light services, moving to Surfleet last July from Romford in Essex and ploughing much of their retirement money into making their dream home by the riverside just as they wanted it to be. Mrs Tokley said: “It is absolutely perfect.”

The couple worked as paramedics and Mrs Tokley then switched to the Metropolitan Police for the remainder of her working life before they took early retirement.

Mrs Tokley told us: “All we want is our garden back to the way it was before.”

At Surfleet Reservoir, floodwater surged into half a dozen gardens and Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue was on the scene for more than six hours pumping out.

• What do you think? Email jeremy.ransome@iliffepublishing.co.uk



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