A Midhurst resident has praised the random acts of kindness from strangers that helped her family after floods devastated their house.
Caroline Cheshire moved to North Mill, Midhurst last year, having spent 18 years in America. Her house was so badly flooded over Christmas they could not even make it to the family car, reached via a footbridge – that was left completely under water.
But strangers mucked in and did what they could to help the family.
“We moved here only five months ago, so didn’t know anybody and when the flooding hit, we had my mother-in-law upstairs and my four children in the house.
“You see people affected on the news all the time, but are not actually sure what to do when you are personally affected by such weather.
“To begin with, I walked around in my wellies, quite cheerful, then the reality of the situation hit. We were suddenly living in filth, and everything takes such a long time to clear, tidy up and sort out.
“You have to deal with insurance companies and get quotes for work you had never planned on having done.
“Our minds are full of making lists of what we had, what it was worth, and how we can replace it. We are forced to find contractors and get quotes.
“We are confused, and distressed that this trick of nature will take up to six months to put right.
“Acts of kindness do take place – a lady insisted on doing my washing for me. I had to force money on her.
“Random people do your washing, yet family members may do nothing to help.
“People say to you, ‘let me know if you need anything’, but when it comes to it, you don’t actually want to say, ‘I have lost my living room, can I come round your house for a meal?’
“I had a beautiful green garden before this, but sand has washed down, perhaps from a housing development, so whoever the sand belongs to is welcome to come and collect the 100 tonnes that have been left in my garden!”
Caroline has also praised the Environment Agency and national flood forum for providing help and support during her hour of need.