RESIDENTS in Monmouth said they have been left “devastated” after being told they could face a six-month wait before life returns to normal following three storms in as many weeks.

Properties near to the River Wye and the River Monnow, which overflowed to levels above seven metres, were flooded during Storm Dennis on February 16 and 17, and some residents were evacuated.

Now, some have been told they will not be able to return to normal for at least six months.

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Jackie and Ian, who live on Forge Road, just a few yards from the Monnow, said they have been “devastated” by the flooding, but added that they were resigned to the fact they would flood when they moved to the area seven years ago.

“We flooded in October too, but this is by the far the worst flood we’ve had,” said Ian.

“We’ve been told it will be at least six months because we need all of our walls and tiles stripping right back.

“The water is four metres down but within a few hours it was up above the riverbank.”

Jackie said: “One of the worst things was seeing the water rise and knowing we were going to be flooded.

“We prepared as much as we could, moving all of our valuables upstairs.”

The couple spent all day upstairs during the flood, and came down to greet the devastation on the Monday morning.

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The walls and floors were wrecked, with the water leaving silt throughout the house, and the walls have now started protruding with the damp.

Ian added: “It has been a stressful time, with insurance claims as well as the clean-up. Fortunately, we’re both retired and have time to get it done properly. I real feel for families here.”

Some residents living at Riverside Park, next to the River Wye in Monmouth town centre, have also been told it will be six months before repair works can be completed.

Many were evacuated after flooding struck on Monday, February 16.

A man living at Riverside Park who wants to remain anonymous, said: “I’ve lived here for 18 years and I’ve never seen anything like this.

“It wasn’t a shock because you could see it was about to happen. I could see the water levels rising over the weekend.

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“We weren’t too badly affected but we were evacuated for two days. I know some people here have been evacuated for much longer.

“I have to say the way we’ve been treated by the council has been fantastic. We went down to the Raglan Lodge and stayed there for two nights and were looked after well.”

David Wigmore, who has lived on Redbrook Road all his life, hailed Monmouth’s community spirit.

“The response from the town has been fantastic,” he said.

“On the Sunday I thought I might have got away with it, but when I woke up on the Monday morning the water was three-foot high at my wall.”

“Some water got in but not too much, the sandbags did their job thankfully.

“I did say a prayer. Someone asked me if I was religious, I said ‘well I am now’."

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Neighbour Alan Thomas moved Mr Wigmore’s car to his drive to make sure it stayed dry, and even took a canoe to nearby Lidl to do some shopping for residents.

“We’re very lucky to live here, it’s a lovely area and people have really helped each other out.”

Mr Thomas says his canoe is primed for another adventure. Fingers crossed it’s a little longer before he needs it again.