Alicante floods leave terrified Brit family with two toddlers trapped in holiday villa for 12 hours before being rescued by army

A BRITISH family with two toddlers had to be rescued by the army after becoming trapped in their holiday home by the killer floods which have deluged southern Spain.

Paul and Angie Spencer had been staying in Benferri, near Orihuela, Alicante, with their four children when the nearby Brazel del Lugar river suddenly burst its banks.

Floodwaters then crashed through the ground floor windows of their villa in Benfis Park cutting off both water and electricity supplies.

“It was terrifying. Within half an hour our basement was completely flooded,” Paul, 35, from Doncaster, told the Sun Online.

“We knew we were in trouble when the waters rose higher than the kerbs.

“We had fun watching the thunder and lightning on Thursday night, but never in a million years did we think we think our holiday villa would be nearly swept away the next day.”

Paul sent a video to family and friends back home showing raging storm waters filling their VW hire car and lapping at the staircase of the three-storey home.

After the power supply was cut, nothing was heard until the military rescued them to safety – 12 hours into their ordeal.

But the nightmare for the Spencer’s family of six and two family friends did not end there.

“Cars were streaming past, along with furniture, suitcases and even two people who tried to cross the road,” Paul said.

“They just got swept away. Their screams were awful, we don’t know what happened to them.”

When the group of eight finally arrived at the Auditori Municipal in Benferri, they found only four beds set up by emergency services.

“We started to panic, and the last thing we wanted to spend a night here,” added Paul.

“The villa was gone, there were no hotels, and eight of us sharing mattresses on a cold floor just wasn’t going to happen.”

The Spencers were finally able to get last-minute flights out from Alicante-Elche airport on Friday night, while other British tourists reportedly were housed by local Spanish families.

Five people have now died in the Costa Blanca storms inlcuding a 58-year-old man found by helicopter in Benferri – where the Spencers were staying – who was swept away after trying crossing the road during intense storm waters.

A further two died on Friday in Andalucia province’s Almeria and Granada, while two siblings were killed when floodwaters swept their car away in Albacete on Thursday.

It comes as a record-breaking amount of rain fell on the Alicante city of Orihuela in between Wednesday and Friday – almost twice the ANNUAL average rainfall, according to Spain’s Met Office.

A total of 532 soldiers and 82 vehicles were dispatched to aid flood victims, many of whom were trapped in tunnels while still in their cars.


Parts of Majorca, including the south of the island and Sierra de Tramuntana are now on red alert after local officials issuing a tornado warning.

Tourists are being urged to take care after Spain’s meteorological agency (AEMET) issued an “extreme risk” weather warning for the next 24 hours.

The travel warning was issued for the regions of Murcia, Almeria, Valencia and Alicante.

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