Village shop reopens more than four months after devastating floods
- Credit: DENISE BRADLEY/Archant2021
An "integral" village shop has finally reopened more than four months after it was wrecked by flash floods.
Like dozens of other communities across the area, Kenninghall, south of Attleborough, was hit hard by flooding just before Christmas last year.
Almost 50 properties were affected, including Kenninghall Stores and Post Office, when a month's-worth of rain fell in 24 hours over the festive period.
Water was above owner Mike Humphreys' knees and the shop was forced to close for several months while a major refurbishment took place.
But on Friday (April 30), the market place was buzzing with activity as the hub of the village began welcoming back customers.
Mr Humphreys', who has run the store for 11 years, said: "The shop back in December was totally flooded, with stock all over the floor and mud and sewage everywhere.
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"I thought we might get it back up and running in a couple of weeks, until we were told told it would be more like six months.
"Today is a fantastic day and it's magic to be back. The sun is shining and the customers are smiling.
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"We've worked so hard to get here and the villagers have been brilliant. The floods killed the heart of Kenninghall, so this will help get us back to the thriving village we were."
Some of the support to get the store back on its feet came from Kenninghall Parish Council, whose chairman, Alison Holman, cut the ribbon at Friday's reopening ceremony.
"The flooding was dreadful for so many properties and for the shop, which is such an integral part of the village," she said.
"To have it back has been the light at the end of the tunnel for lots of people.
"The centrepiece of the village has been like a ghost town for the last four months. But already it is thriving again."
And, despite the catastrophic impact of December's deluge, Miss Holman saluted the way a community had united in the face of adversity.
She added: "Water was sweeping through and there was nothing we could do other than plea for people to come down with sandbags.
"People came from neighbouring villages to help and it was lovely to see everybody come together that night."