Landlady nearly drowned when 5ft flood tidal wave smashed into pub

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The storm surge burst into Rowena Hutchinson’s pub, the Red Lion Inn, on Tuesday.

A torrential downpour had been battering the north-east of England.

The pensioner, of Langthwaite, Richmond, North Yorks, said: “The water just rushed through and it came like a waterfall down the steps.

“I slipped and went under up to my chin. I thought I was going to drown but I managed to grab hold of a bench and drag myself out and up the stairs.

The force of the water and the speed was just unbelievable.”

Miss Hutchinson called for help from an upstairs window and a fireman battled his way into the swamped pub to rescue her.

The devastating power of the violent flash flood “tossed the doors all over the place” in the pub she has run since 1979.

Miss Hutchinson added: “It was just horrible. It really has affected the village. There are very few people who haven’t been affected.

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

Miss Hutchinson said loss adjusters will assess the pub, that has been owned by her family for 55 years, and hopes to reopen after Christmas

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