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Updated with new audio: Monday 23rd August
Devastation in Boscastle
A car swept away by the flood
The clean up operation begins in Boscastle

Hear reports from the scene, and see galleries of the area after the August 2004 floods in the north Cornwall village of Boscastle. The feature below was written at the time of those floods.

WATCH and LISTEN

audio 16/08/04 Click here
for Boscastle villager Mike Bernard.

audio 16/08/04 Click here
to learn how shop-keeper Jackie Paige was evacuated from the village.

audio 16/08/04 Click here
to listen to North Cornwall MP Paul Tyler described the flooding on the roads in the area.

audio 17/08/04 Click here
to listen to a montage about the RAF's work during the flooding.

audio 17/08/04 Click here to listen to BBC Radio Cornwall's Michael Taylor talking to Nicola Bird from nearby Crackington Haven

To listen to the audio you will need a version of Real Player.

BBC download guide
Free Real player
SEE ALSO

Flooding gallery from BBC News online

BBC Cornwall weather

WEB LINKS
Tintagel Web
David Flower's website on Tintagel and Boscastle with lots of news, features and photographs.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.
FACTS

A massive clean-up operation was underway on Tuesday 17th August some of the worst flooding ever seen in North Cornwall.

The village of Boscastle was devastated by a wall of water ten feet high flowing at 40 miles and hour.

Buildings were destroyed and more than 50 cars were swept away. Dozens of villagers had to be airlifted to safety.

On Tuesday 17th August the Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott visited the area to offer his support.

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View a printable version of this page.

People in Boscastle are coming to terms with the devastation caused by Monday's flash floods.

Click here
to send in your messages of support and stories of Boscastle.


Click here
for details of how you can contribute to the North Cornwall Flood appeal.

A torrent of water ten feet high surged through the village when around two and a half inches of rain fell in just two hours.

Click here
to see a gallery of the devastation and clean up operation in Boscastle on Tuesday 17th.

Click here
to see more of the devastation and clean up operation in Boscastle on Wednesday 18th.

Click here
to see a gallery of Prince Charles visit to Boscastle on Wednesday 18th.

Click here
to see a gallery of repair work in Boscastle on September 30th.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from their homes, and people had to be rescued from roofs, trees, and vehicles. There were dozens of tourists visiting the picturesque resort at the time.

Monday 16th August Audio from Boscastle

BBC Radio Cornwall's Naomi Rowe spent Monday afternoon and evening in Boscastle. audioClick here to listen to her interview with villager, Mike Bernard.

One of the shopkeepers evacuated from her business in the centre of Boscastle was Jackie Paige. audioClick here to listen to her explaining how she came to be rescued.

North Cornwall MP Paul Tyler was amongst the motorists caught in the floodwater on the A39 Atlantic Highway near Otterham Station. audioClick here for Hannah Stacey's interview with Mr Tyler.

To listen to any of the above audio you will need a version of Real Player:
BBC download guide

BFree Real Player


Tuesday 17th August Audio from Boscastle
and the surrounding area

The Chief Constable of Devon and Cornwall was in Boscastle on Tuesday

audioClick here to listen to Maria Wallace speaking to our reporter Hannah Stacey.

The operation to evacuate people from Boscastle was one of the biggest rescues in recent years in Cornwall. Seven helicopters from RAF St Mawgan, RNAS Culdrose, RAF Chivernor and the coastguard station at Portland were scrambled to the village to help reach people stranded on roof tops because of the flood water.

audioClick here to listen to Flight Lieutenant Carol Holt who was involved in the rescue.

The community of Crackington Haven was also hit by a torrential downpour. audioClick here to listen to BBC Radio Cornwall's Michael Taylor talking to Nicola Bird from the local pub.

To listen to any of the above audio you will need a version of Real Player:
BBC download guide

Free Real Player


Wednesday 18th August Audio from Boscastle
and the surrounding area

audioClick here to listen to BBC Radio Cornwall reporter Matt Small who has been hearing how different villagers have been affected by the flood after many have had to spend a second night away from their homes.

audioClick here
to listen to BBC Radio Cornwall reporter Matt Small hearing from the emergency services how the work is progressing.

audioClick here to listen to Chief Superintendant David Ellis speak of the huge clean up operation now beginning to take place in Boscastle.

Emily Maughan from Boscastle was was at home asleep, as the flood waters broke through her front door.
audioClick here to listen to her recall her terrifying rescue.

audioClick here to listen to Mike Newson, an insurance broker talking about the financial cost of rebuilding the village.

audioClick here to listen to Cornwall Tourism Board's, Deborah Smith has been supporting the hundreds of visitors who were in north Cornwall at the time of the floods along with those who were due to arrive in the county this week.

Fire fighters were called to west Cornwall. Roads in and around Helston became flooded, and cars were stranded. audioClick here to here The Environment Agency speak about refining it's warning system to protect people from such sudden down pours.

To listen to any of the above audio you will need a version of Real Player:
BBC download guide

BFree Real Player


Friday 20th August Audio from Boscastle

Households near Boscastle harbour that have been without power since Monday had electricity from emergency generators flown in by the military on Friday.
audio
Click here for Matt Small's report from BBC Radio Cornwall.

The National Trust owns eight buildings in Boscastle as well as many of the roads, one of the bridges and the sea walls - not to mention the coastal footpath which has been destroyed in places.
audio
Click here to listen to senior building surveyor, Peter Bee talking to BBC Radio Cornwall's Denis Nightingale.


Monday 23rd August
Audio from Boscastle

The people of Boscastle this weekend gave thanks in church and chapel for the fact that no-one died in last Monday's devastating floods.
audio
Click here for Matt Small's report.


Click here
to email in your experiences of the flash floods and photographs.

If you a concerned about friends and family in Boscastle you can call:
08705 329 567

Background

The storms on Monday 16th August saw more than 6cm (2ins) of rain fall in two hours.

More than a dozen people were airlifted to safety in a rescue operation that continued through the night.

Some were taken to the village rectory, which is on high ground in Boscastle.

Debris hang from windows
Peoples belongings hang from windows

Reverend Christine Musser said: "Local people are saying they have never seen anything quite like this.

"It just escalated so quickly. All of a sudden we found ourselves in the middle of a disaster, which nobody I don't think was prepared for at all."

But she added: "There is a very strong spirit in this place.

"They are used to tough times often in this part of the world, so people will rally round very quickly and see what needs to be done and we will get on and do it."

Eye witness accounts

Tourist Alan Graham and his family, from Benfleet, Essex, had been in the Boscastle visitors centre when the floods hit.

"The front door of the visitors centre smashed through and torrents of water came in until, in the end, half the visitors' centre got smashed away," he said.

"We [got] ourselves on to the roof. We were there for about half an hour in freezing cold rain until the helicopter came along and picked us up, one by one.

"There were 60ft trees just going down the river like matchsticks - as soon as one of those hit the front of the visitors centre, it just wiped away all the structure of it."

Devastation in the village
Flash floods devastate the village

Hotel owner Ruth Watson said it was a "horrendous night".

She told the BBC that she had to "dig out guttering with our hands, spades, anything we could find to remove all the rubble and let the water run down the gullies".

"It has really been quite devastating."

Her first thought when she saw the flood was concern about the lower part of the village.

"It must have been horrendous down there. There were boulders running down the road, trees, just everything, half of people's gardens were stuck under the gullies, the doorsteps.

"It's been a horrendous night."

"We were all on holiday in Cornwall and spending the day in Boscastle," says Mark Williams from South Yorkshire.

"We had to abandon our car and leave on foot. The rain was the worst any of us had ever seen. People were clinging onto everything they could as a river ran down the main street. Absolutely shocking."

Praise

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott visited the area to offer his support, praising the emergency services as "absolutely superb" .

"You can only admire the sheer professionalism of our service, which is a great comfort when we are in these difficulties, whether it's a train crash or a flood like this," he said after seeing people affected by the incident in north Cornwall.

Mr Prescott, speaking in nearby Camelford, said he had been "amazed" by the scale of the flash floods.

"You saw those cars being pushed by the force of the water down the street, that was quite unbelievable," he added.

Click here
to read more about Flash Floods like the one that happened in Boscastle on Monday 16th August .

Click here
to remember the devastation in Lynmouth North Devon on 16th August 1952.

Click here for the latest news from BBC Cornwall.

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