Feniton’s community spirit praised

PUBLISHED: 12:00 07 December 2012

Bill Knollman and his dog Jess outside what is left of his flood damaged workshop.

Bill Knollman and his dog Jess outside what is left of his flood damaged workshop.


Flood victim praises “fantastic” community spirit after the village was hit by a deluge of rain.

A FENITON flood victim has praised the community spirit shown by the village after it was hit by a deluge of rain that caused chaos across the region.

Bill Knollman, his wife Carol and their nine-year-old dog Jess had to be rescued by firefighters after their home in Salisbury Close was flooded last month.

The 65-year-old, who is a retired undertaker, said: “The community spirit and neighbourliness of people has been fantastic.

“It is nice to see it in action.”

He added: “There were a lot of people out here who came from the roads around to try and help us.”

Mr Knollman told the Midweek Herald that one woman brought a flask of hot water so they could have a hot drink and after the floods somebody left a dehumidifier by the door to help with the clean-up.

The couple were two of eight residents that were rescued by firefighters from Honiton and Ottery St Mary and taken to the village’s social club for the night.

He said: “We saw the water was working its way across the bungalows and it came rushing down and the drains wouldn’t take it and the water grew and grew.”

When they returned home the next day they found around four inches of water had came up through the floors of the bungalow, damaging the furniture and carpets .

Mr Knollman, who is a keen woodcarver, even found his workshop had been flooded.

His pond fish were also found swimming in his and his neighbours’ gardens, which had been engulfed by water.

He said: “We are gutted – we haven’t been able to eat and our stomachs feel knotted up with anxiety. It is gut wrenching with Christmas under a month a way.

“I think we are pretty lucky because it could have been a lot worse”

He admits he is worried about it happening again and would like to see the village’s drainage problems addressed in the future.

Mr Knollman is planning to organise a morale boosting party for the village.

Residents were invited to meet with representatives from Devon County Council, the Environment Agency, East Devon District Council and South West Water to discuss their flooding problems on Monday.

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