Flooded business shuts up shop in valley to re-open in Halifax

Andew Whittingham and Vincenzina D'Alessandro of Radiator Renovator at their new home in  Brunswick Industrial Estate, Brassey St, Halifax.

Andew Whittingham and Vincenzina D'Alessandro of Radiator Renovator at their new home in Brunswick Industrial Estate, Brassey St, Halifax.

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A business torn apart by the devastation wrought by the Boxing Day floods in the valley has begun to rebuild from the disaster - in new Halifax premises.

Andrew Whittingham, who runs Radiator Renovator, was no stranger to flooding.

Just two weeks before the now infamous Christmas downpour battered the upper Calder Valley, his premises at Tenterfields Business Park, Luddenden Foot had already flooded.

While the firm recovered from the damage, a second downpour proved too much and Mr Whittingham shut up shop in the valley to move to new premises in Halifax.

Describing the scenes he saw as the deluge swept through the valley, Mr Whittingham said: “We woke up and saw pictures of Sowerby Bridge on Facebook, and at that point we knew that we would get it.

“The first thing you feel is numb, you think ‘no, this can’t be happening’ and then you think ‘maybe it’s not that bad’.”

Andrew and his wife Vincenzina quickly got to work to begin the difficult task of trawling through the mess.

“Everything was turned upside down, water carries stuff with it, it’s not just water. It’s sewage, it’s oil, waste, it destroys everything in its path,” Mr Whittingham added.

“I think the local authority were really good - you can’t stop that volume of water and there’s nothing they can do to stop it.

“They tried to help people and I’m not sure what else they could have done.”

After days of clearing through the remnants of his business, Mr Whittingham made the decision to move his firm.

He didn’t have insurance and estimates the floods affected the business to the tune of around £25,000.

He said: “I was sad to leave the Calder Valley. we had synergy with the other people down there and everybody helped each other out.

“There was a real camaraderie, but we have to be realistic and we just thought ‘we can’t go through that again’.

“We’re back in a place where we are in a good position and people are beginning to come back to us.

“We’ve had a chance to revamp and we are trying to use what happened as a positive.”

Radiator Renovator is back open for business - for more information, visit its website at www.radiatorrenovator.co.uk.

We still want to hear your flood stories and your experiences.

Get in touch with us at hbtimes@hebdenbridgetimes.co.uk or todnews@todmordennews.co.uk.