Flood Ark

Case Study: Capstick Carpets, Appleby-in-Westmorland

31/08/2017 Case Study, United Kingdom, Flooding Front of Capstick Carpets premises

In December 2015, the UK was plunged into chaos as Storm Desmond brought heavy rain, gale force winds and flooding to large swathes of the country. Cumbria was one of the worst affected areas, with homes and business evacuated as the police declared the flooding a major incident. 


Among those business to be affected by the flooding was Capstick Carpets in Appleby-in-Westmorland. With the shop being situated directly opposite the River Eden, owners Marion and Patrick are no strangers to flooding.


“We had a warning from the Environment Agency on Friday that we could flood the following day. The river Eden, which is right opposite our shop was well down and it hardly seemed possible. We moved our vehicles to high ground as we had lost two cars to the river 10 years ago [major flood in 2005], we lifted our stock and equipment up as best we could and put up our floodgates in preparation.” 


“Overwhelming and So Fast” 


When Marion and her husband Patrick woke up the next day, they had no real concerns about the river level. However, she told us how quickly that changed: 


“On Saturday morning [5th December 2015], around 7am, my husband checked the river. It had risen, but still seemed okay. We are used to the river level fluctuating, but by 8:30am the river burst its banks and water was coming into our shop. It was overwhelming and so fast. At its height, we had 650mm (25 1/2”) in the office.” 

Capstick carpets damage
Joseph, Marion and Patrick's grandson, helping with the clear-up.


After about 24-hours, the river subsided and the scale of damage was revealed. However, few anticipated that the river would flood again less than three weeks later. 


“The river finally subsided on Sunday afternoon and we were able to open the warehouse doors and begin the clean-up. We needed 18 skips to remove all the damaged carpet stock, display samples and office equipment. We live above the shop and continued to do so, even though we had no electricity for four days. Our neighbours had their cars swept away. Two and a half weeks later, on the 22nd, just before Christmas, the river Eden burst its banks again. Thankfully, this time, the flood waters didn’t get in – but did come up to the shop door!” 

Capstick carpets clean-up

Flood Ark Installation August 2017 


After the major flood of 2005, Marion had invested in Floodgates. However, she was very disappointed with their performance. Therefore, after three flooding incidents in less than a month, she contacted Flood Ark in search of a better-quality flood defence. 


“We have lived here since 1994 and the river regularly floods, but only twice has it breached our premises. After 2005, we brought some Floodgates to protect us, but they were useless and just let the flood water in. There were no floods between 2005 and 2015, but then we had three floods in a month! We wanted a better-quality solution and I had found your barriers on your website. We built some new perimeter walls and with Flood Ark barriers we now feel we are prepared for next time! It has taken a long time because of meeting Eden District Council’s planning and Appleby’s conservation area requirements.” 

Capstick carpets barrier

Like many of our customers, Marion found that being proactive and investing in flood defences left them in a stronger position when negotiating with their insurance company.  


“Our insurers, AXA, couldn’t have been more helpful. A loss adjuster arrived on Monday morning and we were among the first to be seen. When the reinstatement work was done, we agreed a settlement figure that we were happy with. Since the claim, we have had one renewal and the flooding excess was increased from £1,000 to £4,000 which isn’t too bad considering. We have heard many insurance horror stories.” 

Capstick carpets back of barriers

At Flood Ark, we manufacture and install flood protection barriers for properties at risk of flooding. If you would like to arrange a FREE survey of your property, contact us on +44(0) 1603 879977 or drop us an email to info@floodark.com


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