Friday 19th November 2010
Looking at the small stream running alongside Tanhouse Road on Thursday, it is hard to believe that it could have caused such devastation to certain areas of Lostwithiel. Admittedly, the flow of water was still fairly rapid as it flowed down to join the River Fowey. This little stream became a mighty torrent in the early hours of Wednesday morning. It is hard to imagine the force of the water caused by 50mm (2 inches) of rainfall over a short period. Water poured off the hill into this stream with such a force that it was able to sweep tons of stones, soil and other debris down Tanhouse Road and through Lostwithiel.
Looking at the photo to the right you can see the mass of debris that the flood of water deposited all along the side of the road. Even on Thursday, water was still flowing off the hillside and pouring down the road. On Wednesday, as this water reached the culvert towards the bottom of Tanhouse Road, it swept everything before it.
Stones, mud, trees and other debris littered the roadway near its junction to the A390. Diggers, lorries, mud tankers and road sweepers were making progress at clearing the road, but walls, gardens and banks had all been destroyed by the force of the water.
The mass of water and debris poured across the A390 flooding property as it travelled on down South Street towards Quay Street. On Thursday, Quay Street was a mass of mud and a major effort was being made to clear it away. Using water jets, the mud was turned into a slurry that was then sucked up into tankers. The work was still going on after nightfall.
There was much media interest and film crews were interviewing some of the unfortunate residents and traders. BBC Spotlight was still recording live from the Parade on Thursday night. Whilst Lostwithiel was getting all the media attention, spare a thought for the two properties by the railway viaduct at Milltown, just south of the town. Here, another small stream also became a raging torrent which swept through these two cottages. It was particularly cruel as one of the owners had just suffered a bereavement. In time, the town will recover and properties will be repaired but we won't forget the events of 17th November 2010.