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Ipswich: Businesswoman calls on authorities to fix drainage problems which have seen her Cliff Quay premises flooded for the sixth time

08:09 31 May 2014

Ann-Marie Makepeace and Antonio Ciufo, directors at Rapid Dispatch in Ipswich, are upset after their business was flooded on Tuesday.

Ann-Marie Makepeace and Antonio Ciufo, directors at Rapid Dispatch in Ipswich, are upset after their business was flooded on Tuesday.

The manager of a successful Ipswich business is calling on the authorities to sort out drainage issues near her premises which have seen successive destructive floods.

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The Rapid Dispatch warehouse in Cliff Quay after Monday's floodsThe Rapid Dispatch warehouse in Cliff Quay after Monday's floods

Ann-Marie Makepeace runs Rapid Dispatch, a courier business in Cliff Quay which employs 30 people, but since 2004 her premises have flooded six times resulting in thousands of pounds of damage.

On Tuesday she arrived at work at 5am to find the premises flooded once again. After a massive effort from her team the water was cleared, however another burst of rain at 2.30pm resulted in more flooding.

The water not only damages the building but also the parcels for delivery, and previous insurance claims for flooding have been as high as £30,000.

“The whole thing is very frustrating. I’m trying to run a business, we’re an established business, we’ve been here a long time.

The Rapid Dispatch warehouse in Cliff Quay after Monday's floodsThe Rapid Dispatch warehouse in Cliff Quay after Monday's floods

“I would like somebody to come and speak to us to get this problem resolved fully.

“It’s people’s parcels that get damaged and even though it just maybe affects the outside casing you can’t deliver it because the bottom falls out when you pick it up.

“It’s letting people down and that’s not what we want to be seen to be doing.”

Tuesday’s flooding was so bad that even the measures Ann-Marie had taken to protect the parcels failed.

The Rapid Dispatch warehouse in Cliff Quay after Monday's floodsThe Rapid Dispatch warehouse in Cliff Quay after Monday's floods

“We have put things in place because we know we are susceptible, we’ve created higher areas in the warehouse that we put freight on,” she said. “The water levels were so high on Tuesday that even that freight was damaged.

“I would really like somebody from Anglian Water and Suffolk County Council to come down and see what we can do to prevent this from happening again.”

Anglian Water has since made an appointment with Ms Makepeace to investigate the flooding, and said the rainfall on Monday was so heavy that it overwhelmed some of the drainage systems.

“The average rainfall for May is 50mm but some places received nearly their full month’s quota in just one day, with parts of Ipswich hit particularly hard.

“We understand how devastating any form of flooding is to homes and businesses and our teams are working with customers to help clean up any flooding and return things to normal as quickly as we can. We drafted in extra manpower, with staff working their days off and around the clock across Suffolk to help customers and make sure our network and pumps continue to work as they’re designed.”

A spokesman for Suffolk County Council invited the company to contact them.

“Emergency action was undertaken to investigate all reported flooding issues around the town,” he said. “Areas prioritised are: Key Street, Fore Street, Nacton Road, Holywells Road.”

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