Uckfield’s Sam Imber who was forced out of his new home, with his young family, by a flood in December is gradually getting cleared up again.
Sam, his partner Natasha Wall and their three children, new baby Bailey, Preston, one, and Lilly-May, four, moved back into their house on Christmas Eve.
They were grateful to be able to do that but sad that all the time and energy they had invested in making their home perfect, before a burst water pipe in the kitchen caused chaos, had been wasted.
“Everything was new, kitchen appliances, flooring, sofas, because we wanted a fresh start, and it has all got to be replaced,” said Sam.
He said it was the support of the community that kept the family’s spirits up during the ordeal. They were loaned dehumidifiers to dry out the property, people gave their time to help with the clean up, lifting carpets and taking out kitchen appliances and water-damaged units.
“We were very grateful to Mike Grindley who gave us a skip to load the appliances into – that would have cost us about £400 if he hadn’t come forward,” said Sam.
He was also grateful to people who responded to appeals and Kids Stuff who donated Christmas presents for the children when their own parcels were water damaged.
The family did have a small Christmas tree and made the best of the situation over the festive break. They were able to use underlay left over from the installation of carpets to give a covering on the floor.
An insurance company has paid out some money to help with initial expenses but it is not yet known where the fault lies for the burst pipe. Sam said the water pressure was measured at the time as being ten times the usual figure.
Sam added: “More than anything what happened after the flood showed the strength of community spirit, regardless of someone’s background. This meant a lot to me, particularly because of the work I do within the community. It was nice to know people were prepared to give me their support.”
Read more in our original story on December 19: Flood drives Sam Imber’s young family from new home
Sam’s own community work was recognised by the Prime Minister last year. See: Uckfield’s flood hero arrives at Downing Street.
Read here how Sam helped people in flood-bound Wraysbury nearly a year ago: Uckfield’s superman in action again.
And how he and his friend Dave Jones helped Uckfield people in crisis: Local heroes help people battle floods.