Clean-up team sets to work after boathouse is flooded

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A mud-plastered boathouse by Tilgate Lake was hosed down after its boats were left floating in four feet of floodwater.

Crawley Corough Council’s graffiti team jet-washed a layer of silt and muck left in Dynamic Adventures’s cabin on Tuesday last week (February 18) after it was flooded repeatedly.

Andy Whitelock, 57, who runs the business with his wife, daughter and business partner, said: “The flooding started around Christmas. It went down but flooded again.

“The floor has been covered in silt and muck.”

He added: “We’ve been at Tilgate for three summers.

“None of us have seen it flood like that.”

The business was due to open in time for half-term last week.

Now, the boathouse will open late March after floods delayed repairs and preparations usually carried out during the winter.

The high water also damaged electrics.

Mr Whitelock said the water levels at Tilgate Lake rose by six feet because of the floods.

He added: “The business is entirely weather-dependent so we wouldn’t have expected to get much business.

“We’ve been delayed only in the work we wanted to do on the boats.

“That’s frustrating but in comparison not as bad as what other people have gone through.”

The council’s graffiti team jet-washed the mud out of the boat house and the surrounding platform by the lake.

Workmen swept the footpaths clear of mud andsilt.

Mr Whitelock was looking forward to getting the business up and running again.

He said: “The best part of the job is meeting people and seeing them enjoy themselves take part in activities in Tilgate Lake.”

The dam at Tilgate Lake prevented floods in surrounding residential areas.

A council spokesperson said: “The dam at Tilgate Lake held the water back and flooded the low-lying areas on the eastern and western sides of the lake.

“This ensured that parts of Tilgate and Furnace Green that flooded previously did not flood this winter.

“During dry periods water is slowly released through the dam to try to avoid further flooding around the lake.”

An arson attack caused £10,000 of damage to the Dynamic Adventures boathouse in September 2013.

Mr Whitelock said no further leads were found in the police inquiry that followed the incident.