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  1. ITV Report

Boscastle - ten years on from the flood

Boscastle today, lovingly returned to its pre-flood state Photo: PA

There is little physical evidence remaining of the floods that devastated Boscastle ten years ago, but it will take longer for the residents of this small Cornish village to get over what they saw on August 16 2004.

The shocking photographs made headlines around the world. Credit: PA

A decade ago, an estimated two million tonnes of water flowed through Boscastle in a day, travelling at 40 miles per hour and destroying everything in its path.

Four properties were demolished, 116 vehicles were swept away - 32 of which were washed out to sea - and the around 1,000 residents witnessed the largest peacetime rescue in the history of mainland Britain.

Peter and Margaret Templar had to be airlifted to safety after water poured into the hotel they run, reaching chest height within minutes.

When they fled outside with 40 or 50 others from the Riverside Hotel, first the wall they hid behind collapsed, then the nearby visitor centre.

"When I was winched up and you could look down, it was just total devastation," Mr Templar said.

Eight inches of rain fell, most in a five-hour period, and at its peak the rain was falling at a rate of 12 inches per hour. Credit: PA

The villagers say it was "a miracle" that no one was killed or seriously injured.

Since the flood - one of "the most noteworthy" ever experienced in England and Wales, according to the Environment Agency - £10 million of improvements have been made to the village's flood defences.

Before, Boscastle was regarded as having a one-in-10 chance of flooding in any given year, now it should withstand a one-in-75-year event.

But heavy rain still makes residents worry that the worst could happen again.