FLOODED businesses in Basildon are counting the cost after finally reopening.

Shops across the Eastgate Centre had to shut down on Saturday after torrential rain swept through their roofs on Friday night.

While most reopened on Sunday, Regis hairdressers only finally managed to open yesterday and water is still seeping through the roof.

Vicky Upfold, 42, manager of the salon said: “We have got to open – we’ve got a business to run.

“We have been closed for twoand- a-half days. I couldn’t get in at all on Saturday morning. The shop was completely cornered off.

“Since then the Eastgate cleaners have been in and done a really good job.

“But the roof is still leaking. I have had to remove my window display and put buckets everywhere to catch the drips.”

Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe and Hilton’s Fish Bar also reopened yesterday after being closed a number of days because of flooding.

The Eastgate Centre suffered on Friday night after a deluge of rainfall hit the Aviva building, which is being partially demolished.

Although a temporary roof has been put on the top two levels, which are not being demolished, the rain managed to get through the cracks and into the shops below.

Mrs Upfold said she had been told by the centre management a new roof would be put over the top two levels when the building work was finished next month.

She said: “We won’t know the cost of the damage for quite a while. We’re still counting up.

“After the new roof goes on in September we’re going to have the shop completely refitted.

“The stock room and staff room are badly damaged, as is the toilet. Thankfully the salon itself isn’t too bad but obviously the front of the shop is damaged as well. I just can’t believe it’s happened.”