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Budleigh left counting the cost of major flooding to their clubhouse

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 09, 2012

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Budleigh Salterton have been left counting the effects of a flood on their ground, which is likely to cost them more than £30,000.

On Saturday afternoon, when their second XI should have been entertaining Heathcoat, water was lapping around the clubhouse windowsills.

Budleigh's ground is close to the mouth of the River Otter and when that floods the club is inundated as well.

By tea-time on Saturday, the water level had risen to 15 feet, and was up to the guttering of the single-storey pavilion, causing extensive damage.

Kevin Curran, the Budleigh Salterton secretary, said club members had done their best to keep memorabilia and mementos dry by moving them to the loft.

Everything below ceiling level has been flooded and, without insurance cover, the club faces a hefty bill.

"Because of previous floods on the ground we are unable to get flood cover as part of our insurance," said Curran.

"Once water showed signs of getting into the pavilion, we managed to get some of the furnishing up into the loft.

"Our last big flood was in 2008, and this one has reached a higher level.

'The bar and the stock will have been destroyed, and it looks like our ground-keeping equipment is going to be badly water damaged.

"We raised the floor level in the equipment shed after the 2008 flood, but, as the water has gone higher again, we will suffer.

"Ignoring the equipment and just concentrating on the damage to the pavilion, kitchen, bar, dressing rooms and toilets, we are facing a set-back of at least £30,000. If we lose machinery it will be a bit higher."

Budleigh suffer because when the River Otter floods so do they – and there are also repeated drainage problems due to a blocked outfall pipe on the nearby beach.

"The beach outfall gets blocked with shingle brought up the beach at high tide, so water cannot escape," said Curran.

Budleigh run two sides in the Francis Clark Devon League, both of which are in danger of being relegated this season. "We are not bottom because we are playing poorly, but because we are hardly playing at all and you don't get many points for a cancellation," said Budleigh's first XI captain, Joel Murphy.

"Between the two sides we should have played 20 games so far, but have only played 10.

"I am now actively searching for other grounds for us to play on as I will be surprised if our ground is fit to use again this year.

"It isn't that easy though as there are not many 'spare' grounds in Devon at schools and colleges which come up to the standards required – and those that do already have long-standing bookings."

Saturday's entire Devon League programme was completely washed out with no games starting in any of the 15 divisions.

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