Heavy rain leads to local flooding

TORRENTIAL downpours caused chaos in Beccles and the Yarmouth area yesterday afternoon as a deluge damaged a NHS headquarters, a community centre and Citizens' Advice Bureau.

TORRENTIAL downpours caused chaos in Beccles and the Yarmouth area yesterday afternoon as a deluge damaged a NHS headquarters, a community centre and Citizens' Advice Bureau.

Staff had to leave the NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney PCT headquarters in Beccles after part of a roof collapsed following heavy rain which caused flooding in the town.

A member of staff at the trust said it was believed that part of a roof over the reception area of the building in Common Lane North collapsed, forcing staff to leave the premises.

A recorded telephone message at the premises said: “You have reached NHS Great Yarmouth and Waveney. Sorry we are not here to take your call. Our offices have closed early today as a result of flooding due to heavy rain.”


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The message said the PCT hoped to be open for business as normal today.

Properties around the town, including in Ingate and Common Lane North, were flooded by the rainwater, which overflowed from drains after several hours of heavy rain.

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A spokesman for Suffolk police said that at one stage there was about one foot of water on some of the roads in the town centre.

Rachel Betts, manager of CC Betts & Son Builders' Merchants in Ingate, said: “There was a really big downpour at about 1pm and this went on for about half an hour, then it eased off only to belt down again. It rained really hard for well over an hour.

“There was quite a torrent coming down Blyburgate into Ingate Street and some of the manholes did lift up and there was some debris in the road.

“We had water come into the back of our workshop, which we pretty much swept out. We had people coming in to get sand bags. We only had half a dozen left and we sold out in a couple of hours.”

Firefighters were called out to the Bradwell Community Centre in Bradwell, near Yarmouth, after members of the village's over-60s club noticed water was leaking into the Lord's Lane building.

It was initially feared that the rainwater would reach the electrical box in the community centre. Although the water did not reach any electrical source, the centre suffered some damage and cars had to be left in the flooded car park.

In Gorleston there were reports of rainwater reaching eight inches by the Lloyds TSB in the High Street after a 20-minute downpour caused chaos for shoppers and motorists.

And volunteers at the Citizens' Advice Bureau in Stonecutters Way, Yarmouth, were left mopping up after water seeped under a wall from a flooded courtyard and reached skirting board level.

Advice session supervisor Pete Eldridge said: “At the worst point, the water in the courtyard was 4in deep and firefighters came to pump us out.”

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