UK & World News

  • 24 August 2014, 7:43

House Lifted 1.5m To Avoid More Flood Misery

A family from Berkshire who were devastated by floods in February have jacked their entire house up by 1.5 metres to avoid future floods.

The Ivry family home in Wraysbury on the River Thames was devastated by water during the winter floods and they've spent six months in temporary housing.

During that timeYaron Ivryhas taken extreme measures to prevent a repeat of the ordeal, spending 70,000 to lift the entire structure off the ground.

"It was a lot of stress but it's all over and it's worth it - the project is now a success," Mr Ivry said.

"We are safe from the worst floods in 100 years so we're very happy."

It took three months to prepare the house, installing a steel girder framework near the base of the house before cutting through the brick and woodwork.

A specialist company, more commonly used to lift large bridges, was employed to carry out the rare lift which they say was very challenging.

Sean Davies, of Hydra-Capsule, said: "We're used to doing structures that are much larger and heavier, but this lift is very technical.

"We installed 28 jacks to lift the house when just one would have been able to lift the building.

"We over-designed it deliberately because of the delicate house that's obviously so precious to the owners."

The family is just one of hundreds still rebuilding after the floods of last winter which were caused by the heaviest rainfall in almost 250 years.

Around 1,000 homes were badly damaged in Somerset and along the Thames Valley.

Craig Woodhouse, from the Environment Agency, says these sorts of private flood prevention projects are key to reducing risk.

He said: "We're very keen that people take ownership of their own flood risk and the first way is to assess whether or not they are at risk on the Environment Agency website.

"Then you can start thinking about how you can protect your property if a community level scheme is not in the offing."

The Ivry family hope to move in next month and are planning a house warming for the New Year when they predict things will be back to normal.

:: Watch a Sky News special report on flood proofing Britain at 10.30am, 2.30pm, 4.30pm, and 8.30pm.

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