Fundraiser set up after Billingshurst home flooded

bhrst flood
bhrst flood

The daughter of a pensioner whose home was flooded in Billingshurst has thanked the community for their support.

Sue Johnston said her 85-year-old dad Ray Edwards looked out of an upstairs window at his Coombe Hill home to see his wheelie bin floating away before discovering the entire downstairs was three inches deep in water.

bhrst flood

bhrst flood

The sudden deluge on Thursday, May 31, saw multiple call outs to the fire service for assistance from properties in the Billingshurst area as well as offers to raise money to help.

Sue said Ray was now doing all right and landlords Saxon Weald had stepped in to help with removing and replacing damaged furnishings.

She said: “He’s quite upbeat about it. He said he survived the Korean War, he can survive a bit of rain.

“We’ve had Saxon Weald come up, they’ve been absolutely brilliant.

Ray Edwards' home in Coombe Hill was damaged by the flooding on Thursday May 31.

Ray Edwards' home in Coombe Hill was damaged by the flooding on Thursday May 31.

“They’ve going to sort carpets and some furniture for him and some lino flooring for the kitchen.”

The flash floods caused disruption to travel on the A24, with the B2135 Steyning Road blocked both ways between the Worthing Road and Mill Lane.

In Billingshurst, residents in Coombe Hill, Rowan Drive and Parbrook were among those affected as well as the front garden of the Six Bells pub and Jengers Mead was left deep underwater.

Sue suspects her dad’s house, which backs onto the shopping area, was swamped by the water that swallowed up part of the car park.

She added: “Down the high street from all the houses that are being built by the roundabout, there was a river of mud coming down from that.”

By the next morning, the water had receded and messages of support were pouring in on social media from residents wanting to help Ray in some way.

Sue said her especial thanks went to Lena Boam who set up a Gofundme fundraising page, which will now help towards repairing other damage to the house and garden.

“The response was amazing, absolutely amazing,” Sue said. “It makes you realise in the heart of this big growing village, the small village is still there. They’ve all come together and it’s lovely.”

Clerk to Billingshurst Parish Council Greg Burt said the downpour had been ‘of biblical proportions’ but he would support pragmatic steps to prevent flooding.

The parish council has asked residents to report instances of flooding so it can give a list of locations to West Sussex County Council.

Reports should be succinct, giving location, description and extent of flooding, and the name or number of properties affected. Photographs would be helpful. Email council@billingshurst.gov.uk