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Storm cost stores thousand in damages

PUBLISHED: 00:59 01 July 2005 | UPDATED: 05:57 02 March 2010

BUSINESSES in Ipswich were mopping up today after storm damaged caused flooding and ceiling damage in stores across town.

Suffolk Retail Park in London Road was one of the worst affected areas in yesterday's freak weather.

BUSINESSES in Ipswich were mopping up today after storm damaged caused flooding and ceiling damage in stores across town.

Suffolk Retail Park in London Road was one of the worst affected areas in yesterday's freak weather.

Stores had to be evacuated as water rained down through ceilings and caused thousands of pounds of damage to stock.

Ceiling tiles came crashing down at soft furnishings store Dunelm Mill and a "river" of water ran down the centre of the store.

Yvonne Brown, manager of the store, said: "We were here until 11pm yesterday cleaning up.

"The roof is still dripping and last night we had roof panels coming down.

"It was like a river running down the middle of the store.

"This has done about £3,000 of damage to stock and with the repair of the roof nearly £5,000 of damage."

Staff said it was the third year running stores at the Retail Park have been affected by storms, but the scale of damage in yesterday's downpour was the most severe.

Rachel Chapman, assistant manager, added: "There was about an inch to and inch-and-a-half of water.

"The security guard that was here last night saw lightening hit the roof. We didn't realise we had been hit but we heard a big noise.

"The roof was coming down and we were trying to clear up as well.

"Some of the tiles fell down and the others we took down for safety reasons."

Neighbouring store The Range also suffered flooding and ceiling damage.

Water leaked through the ceiling and the garden centre flooded with about five-inches of water.

Gina Clarke, operations manager at the store, said: "It was the end of the 5pm shift and I was leaving off. I was almost at the door when I heard someone shout my name.

"I turned around and the store was raining – it was phenomenal.

"We have replaced all of our tiles already and had new ones put up.

"The most damaged area was lighting and we have lost thousands of pounds of lights. You can't sell water damaged electrical equipment."

Staff were cleaning up until about 4.30am today and the store was open as usual.

Meanwhile, Brantano footwear closed this morning while salvage work took place and Toys R Us at Copdock Interchange was also closed due to of storm damage.


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