THE battle to bring normality to life for residents in Cardenden Road three weeks after the deluge is a monumental struggle.

Over 20 homes in the busy Cardenden street were swamped with floodwater, after the River Ore and the Den Burn burst their banks in the early hours of Wednesday August 12, and many days later some residents are still unsure of what the future holds.

As the road surface went under several feet of water it began to run into every property on the street causing untold damage to flooring, furniture, electrical appliances and clothing, leaving the residents in a living nightmare.

But things got worse that week for several of them, when their insurance companies revealed that the flooding element of their policies was about covering for burst pipes and not storm damage!

One of the couples hit by this news was Evelyn and Dennis Currie, who over the past couple of weeks have been trying to carry out repairs to their home in small stages.

Their daughter, Lauren Gryzbowski, is secretary of the residents' group formed a few days after the flooding disaster, to try and find ways of getting a structured process to get repairs carried out to all the damaged properties.

Said Lauren this week: "My mum and dad have been trying to get things done, with in the back of their minds that their insurance company are not for paying at all for any repairs to their home.

"The estimate of the damage caused by the flood is in the region of £38,000 and clearly, as they are both retired, they have been shattered by it all.

"However, we have been trying to do what is possible to get the damaged flooring out of the house and other items ruined by the flood.

"The issue of mum and dad's insurance company, and the similar problems faced by other residents, is in the hands of the Ombudsman and we hope that this will bear fruit, but we will have to wait and see."

Lauren felt that Fife Council had been less than helpful in the wake of the flood, apart from the staff at the Bowhill Centre: "We were supposed to have a meeting with council people a couple of weeks ago but it was cancelled at the last moment and we have heard nothing more.

"There was little sign of any council workers as the water started to get higher and higher on the night of the flood and that has upset a lot of the residents. Even at this stage some help could make a huge difference, but I have to say that Margaret King and the team at the Centre have been very supportive.

"We are continuing to examine a number of possible ways of getting help on board for the residents of Cardenden Road and we will keep working away."

The cost of repairs to the homes in Cardenden Road is reported to been £30,000 up to six figures and while some residents' insurance companies are paying for the repairs, others insist that storm damage is not covered by them.

Lauren added: "The residents are getting some support from the local businesses in Cardenden and the public in general are very supportive. But it looks like we have a long battle ahead."

The chair of the council's Transportation Committee, Councillor Altany Craik, said that in his mind the limited staff the council currently have did as much as they could but there needed to be a review.

He said: “As always there will be a lessons learned exercise after the initial emergency has passed but we need a fundamental review of our approach, not just tinkering round the edges.

“There is always a next time as events like these become more and more common. We cannot continue to simply tidy up the carnage after the event and that is why I am calling for a new approach to dealing with emergencies like this.

“With the impact of Covid many things will be different as we try to rebuild our communities and re-evaluate our priorities.

“We need emergency response systems that prevent an emergency becoming a catastrophe".

A Crowdfunding page has been launched to raise funds to help the residents who have found their insurance companies not wanting to pay out and it has a target of £4,000.

The message that introduces it really says it all about what happened: "On Tuesday August 11, after horrendous thunder, lightning and heavy rainfall, the River Ore that runs through our village, burst its banks.

"It destroyed the homes and possessions of the residents of Cardenden and as the clean-up operation continues some insurance companies are rejecting the claims of these residents. They are left with nothing but ruined homes and broken hearts.

"The community spirit in Cardenden has always been strong and hopefully we can all pull together in any way we can to help our fellow villagers".