Belfast Telegraph

Dromore retailer left devastated after deluge ruins stock

By Karen Ireland

A Co Down woman has been suffering sleepless nights after her shop was badly damaged at the weekend by the floods.

One of the worst hit towns was Dromore. Jenni Spice (50) opened her business, The Good Room, in the town as normal on Saturday morning.

The gift and clothing shop, which has been trading since September 2014, is her pride and joy and she watched helplessly as a nightmare unfurled and the flooding destroyed her premises.

"When I got to work the water on the street was up to kerb level, but the shop was fine," Jenni explained.

"All of a sudden the water came pouring in through the shop door and within seconds it was at knee level.

"It all happened so quickly that it was difficult to know what to do, and the stock was just floating on the top of the dirty water.

"We opened the back door to let the water out, but everything was covered in black silt.

"Cars driving through the town and the volume of water meant it spilled over onto the pavement.

"The drain couldn't cope with the volumes of water."

Her business was just one among many in the Co Down town affected.

"It was completely devastating, as I had all my winter stock in low cupboards, and shoes and handbags as well as Christmas stock, and it was all completely ruined," she explained.

"The town really rallied together and local people came out to help one another.

"Farmers came in on tractors and brought sandbags and meal bags and distributed them to the shops.

"Some of the shops in the town have cellars and they were full to the roof with water. The fire brigade had to come and pump them out.

"There was no sign of the council or bodies such as the DoE. It was all left to residents and shop owners to sort it out."

As well as the damage to stock, problems with the electricity made the premises unsafe.

"In the end we just had to leave it, as the insurance company couldn't be contacted over the weekend, which was an added nightmare," she added.

"So they are coming out today to assess the damage.

"I've had sleepless nights worrying about whether we will be covered for flood, as we have lost thousands of pounds of stock.

"I am devastated and shocked at how quickly things can change and how worrying it was for everyone, but it will take more than this to knock me down and I hope to be back up and running soon."

She added: "I was proud of how the town rallied together and people were there for one another."

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