THE nightmare is finally over Millbrook flood victims Shelley and Andrew Vaughan who moved back home 374 days after being forced out.
But for next-door neighbours Dorothy and Leo Pieroni it goes on as they are still nowhere near returning to their badly-damaged cottage on Huddersfield Road.
“It has been horrendous,” explained Shelley, “It was the loss of personal things which was the worst.
“Our lives have literally been on hold and we have had to start from scratch again.”
To add insult to injury, Shelley revealed their home had been broken into several times while they were in temporary accommodation, explaining that had been an another worry.
Shelley, Andrew and their children had been living in Ashton since being rescued from the upstairs window of their home on the night of November 22, 2106.
She continued: “The insurance company has been brilliant. The reason it has taken so long is that the walls are 18in thick and rubble-filled which has made the drying out hard work.
“Our neighbours’ home is still a shell and they are nowhere near returning.”
A blocked culvert was the cause of the flooding that was of Biblical proportions as one month’s rain fell in the space of 24 hours.
The road outside their home still has temporary traffic lights as work on improving the drainage system continues.
Reflecting on the events of November 21, Shelley explained that previously there had only been the occasional minor flooding when leaves blocked drains.
So nothing, therefore, prepared for them for what happened in the space of one hour that tea time.
Shelley said: “The rain was torrential and coming down Besom Lane and from Stalybridge Country Park in torrents.
“As the culvert was blocked, there was nowhere for it to go and, within one hour, we were flooded to a depth of four feet.
“With the water level rising, the children and myself went upstairs, but Andy wedged himself behind the front door to keep it shut.
“The power of the water was such that it knocked him off his feet and he also had to run upstairs for his safety.”
“Neighbour Carl Jones, assisted by two other men, rescued them by ladder and we had to be taken out by boat such was the depth of the water.”
Shelley and Andy also had their garden, where they kept two cars, washed away.
Leo and Dorothy, who had lived in their property for more than half a century, added there had been several previous flash floods, but nothing of that severity.