Churches open their doors to victims

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CHURCHES were quick to offer shelter to flooded out Morpeth residents.

The New Life Christian Centre in Dacre Street, which provided a daily drop-in facility in the aftermath of the 2008 flood, again opened up on Tuesday morning after the evacuation of High Stanners and Dawson Place.

And St Robert’s Church in Oldgate, invited people inside for warmth, refreshments and toilet facilities.

New Life Minister Mike Willis said: “We are open if people need us and we have people there waiting to help.

“It is terrible to see this situation again.

“I think people are a bit angry because the flood defences should have been in by now and it is awful for the older people who were flooded last time and now have it again.

“I’m worried about whether some of them will survive this — all the upheaval. It is upsetting.

“People had just started getting back to normal after the last flood.

“I think because nothing has happened here since 2008, when a lot of other places have flooded, people might have thought it wasn’t going to happen again.

“It was supposed to be something like a one-in-200-years flood in 2008.

“We will be here to support people again though.”

Fr Lawrence Jones, of St Robert’s Church, said: “It is a big disaster and the churches will do whatever it takes to help.

“It is just devastating.

“I remember when the Countess of Wessex came to see the Riverside Lodge after it had been re-decorated from the last flood. Now it has been flooded again, along with the other two businesses in High Stanners.

“I just feel so sorry for everybody who has been flooded.”