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FLOOD victim David Blakely knows what it is like to be homeless for Christmas.

Ten years ago he had to spend the festive season away from his house after the River Teviot burst its banks in Hawick.

Back then his family were out of their Noble Place home for eight months before it was habitable to move back in.

Now after the floods returned to Hawick last weekend the Blakely family face a race against time to be back in their home for this Christmas.

The 51-year-old supermarket worker said: "We have had £2,000 worth of damage to the carpets.

"Everything is in a mess at the moment and we have no idea when we will get back in.

"Hopefully it will be in time for Christmas but we don't know just yet.

"It happened 10 years ago and it was a strange feeling not being in your own home at Christmas and in a different place.

"But it is not the end of the world and we will just have to get on with it."

David, his wife, Susan, and three sons are currently staying at his niece's home while the mop up operation continues.

He said: "To be honest we have been quite lucky. The damage is not as bad as it was the last time.

"We got a flood warning from SEPA on the Saturday and checked the Internet and knew it was going to be bad.

"We put boards up and sandbags at the door but the water has come up through the ground.

"We spent the Saturday night at relatives while the other people were taken to the leisure centre. We have never been

there so the council probably don't know about us but we are fortunate we have relatives we can stay with.

"Obviously we bare hoping things can be put back in place in time for Christmas but we will just have to wait and see."

Scottish Borders Council said six families had been put up in emergency accommodation provided by Scottish Borders Housing Association while their homes are repaired.

Some people stayed at the Elm House Hotel in Hawick town centre but the last two families moved out last Thursday with one of them returning home.

Sixty eight year old Joan Hamilton and her husband Ronnie also face a race against time to get back into their Mansfield Gardens home for Christmas.

But they managed to salvage their festive season by remembering to move the Christmas presents for their 10 grandchildren to a higher place before they were evacuated by the police.

Joan said: "We moved everything else high up, which we didn’t do in 2005, so we were prepared.

“All the Christmas presents for the grandchildren were put up in cupboards so the little ones will be pleased.

“We were out the house for six months after the last flood, which was terrible. We were in homeless accommodation from the council.

“We’ll stay at Ronnie’s brother’s house till the house dries out.

"We are hoping it will be by Christmas but we will just have to wait and see.

“The water came up to about a foot-and-a-half throughout the house. Every room was affected.

“In the 2005 flood in Hawick the water was up over three feet. That was before we put the flood gates on the front and back doors and that’s stopped it being so bad.

“But the dirty water comes up through the floorboards so you just can’t stop it.

“We came back to the house on Sunday morning and we were devastated.

“It’s mostly the carpets and laminate which were wrecked. There were also some clothes we had forgot to put on a higher level so they’re all getting thrown out."