Storm ruined Christmas for Coalburn family

Mairi Hamilton looks at the damage to her ceiling  (Picture Sarah Peters)
Mairi Hamilton looks at the damage to her ceiling (Picture Sarah Peters)

A family in Coalburn have spent a miserable Christmas and New Year in their home with most of the rooms uninhabitable.

The roof blew off their house, in Bellfield Road, in the storm back at the beginning of December, and the torrential rain pouring through then brought down ceilings in the lower floor.

Mairi Hamilton’s family are squeezed into the habitable rooms, with her disabled daughter having to sleep on a couch downstairs.

“It happened during the night. We were in our bed and when I got up on the Saturday morning, I could hear water drip, drip, dripping in my daughter’s bedroom,” said Mairi.

“The wind had blown the flat roof off.”

That meant rain was pouring in to her daughter’s room and a bathroom, but the water then brought down ceilings below, damaging other rooms.

“The rain was coming down from upstairs,” said Mairi.

“It was pouring in all night and some of the ceiling fell in.

“I did not really enjoy my Christmas,” she said in something of an understatement.

And with most of the world on holiday, there have been delays in getting repair work started.

The loss adjuster came out and approval was given last week by the insurance company for the repair work to begin, but by then the builders were off for the New Year.

In the immediate aftermath a builder put a covering over the roof, but the covering was not a match for the torrential rain over the Christmas period, which caused widespread flooding in many parts of the country.

One of their daughters has moved in with a friend in Lanark in the meantime, but with two dogs and two cats, Mairi and her husband John could not leave the house to stay anywhere else.

“We are just working with the kitchen, living room and the other bathroom down the stairs,” said Mairi.

The water is also coming through the ceiling of the downstairs bathroom, running down the light fitting, and her husband got an electric shock when he pulled the light on.

Floors and doors are ruined with the water, as are many of the furnishings,

Mairi said: “The bed, bedding and wardrobe units will all need to go out.

“We have got the go ahead now to get the roof sorted, but the builder is on holiday.

“It will be well into the spring before everything is sorted.

“The rain has never let up.”

She added: “It has not been much of a Christmas!”

This is not the first crisis the family has faced. Years ago the house was flooded when a burn which runs behind it became choked.