Rain flooded into pub ‘like a waterfall’, says landlady, 75

Rowena Hutchinson Credit: Danny Lawson/PA

A 75-year-old woman has told how she nearly drowned when her pub was filled with 5ft-high water during flooding in North Yorkshire.

Rowena Hutchinson said her home, the Red Lion Inn in Langthwaite, Richmond, has been ruined by the torrential downpour on Tuesday night.

She said water came gushing into the pub “like a waterfall”, leaving her submerged up to her chin.

Speaking on Wednesday, she said: “There was a little bit of water in to start with, and I thought I’d open the front door and come out to take a look, but as I did so the water just rushed in from the back.

“The water just rushed through, and it came like a waterfall down the steps. It slammed the front door shut and then it rose up to about 5ft.

“I slipped and went under up to my chin, and then managed to grab hold of a bench and pull myself out, but the force of water and speed was just unbelievable.

Rowena Hutchinson surveys the damage in the pub. Credit: PA

“I thought I was going to drown, but I managed to drag myself out and up the stairs.

“Thankfully I had some clean clothes up there, so I got changed and hung out of the window, and shouted if someone would get the fire brigade.

“I had no way out, the doors were blocked with furniture, and fridges and freezers. The fire brigade came in eventually, got in through the side door and a fireman carried me out on his back.”

She said that the pub has been in her family’s ownership for 55 years, and she has run it since 1979.

She added that her greenhouse and conservatory were ruined by the storm, adding: “It’s all gone.”

The kitchen of the pub devastated by the floods. Credit: PA

Miss Hutchinson said loss adjusters will assess the pub, and she hopes to be able to reopen after Christmas.

Discussing the force of the rain, she said: “It was just horrible. It really has affected the village, there’s very few people that haven’t been affected.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. It was continuous rain, it just didn’t let up.

“It’s completely smashed doors off, and a wall has gone. The speed and force of the water was unbelievable, it’s just tossed the doors all over the place.”