A travel agent is facing a £10,000 bill after his shop was destroyed in a flood during Storm Ciara.
Benchmark Travel and Tours, which operates from The Travel Centre in West Yorkshire’s Mytholmroyd, was left five feet under water when the river Calder burst its banks on 9 February.
Owner Roger Benn was trapped for six hours inside the building as the water and sewage gushed in.
“The water is so fast-flowing, it’s a torrent,” Benn told TTG. “You would get swept away in the river if you opened the door.”
This is the second time The Travel Centre has flooded in recent years, after it was hit by the 2015 Boxing Day floods.
Since then, insurance companies have not covered the property.
“It’s still, obviously, in a complete and utter mess, and we are disinfecting and drying everything out,” said Benn, who is due to feature in a documentary about flooding.
“We have got the worst of what was spoilt in the flood out, but we have to make sure the paintwork and surfaces are absolutely sterilised and clean.”
An automatic system had warned Benn the river’s water levels were rising, but Benn said these often turn out to be false alarms.
Works to build floodwalls along the river Calder are under way, but they are yet to be finished, Benn said.
He is bracing for more bad weather as Storm Dennis is forecast to bring heavy rain to the area.
“It’s predicted to be worse than this one,” Benn added. “But the only thing it can damage is the stuff we have managed to clean and the dehumidifier – everything is upstairs… and it won’t be coming down for some time.”
Previous occupiers of the site, Whitesands Travel, also suffered flooding. Benn said he would consider selling the premises going forward.
Benchmark has been trading from the nearby town of Sowerby Bridge while the Mytholmroyd shop is refitted.