Town road becomes river

STOWMARKET town centre was turned into a river as flash floods caused chaos, closing shops, roads and damaging businesses.

STOWMARKET town centre was today turned into a river as flash floods caused chaos, closing shops, roads and damaging businesses.

The torrential downpour saw water flowing down Ipswich Street, with water pouring into some shops who were left with damage to carpets, stock and in some cases left staff needing a pump to ease the problem.

Workers said they had not seen anything like it in the town for almost a decade and were assessing the cost of the damage.

At Xpert stationers manager Tina Abbott had sandbags outside her shop and praised other traders who came to her assistance from nearby Shoe Zone.

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She planned to re-open later yesterday after a frantic clean up operation and said: “We were flooded and are absolutely furious with Mid Suffolk District Council. We pay our rates and called the council for help and they just told us to come up and get sandbags from their depot rather than delivering.

“My son had to take time off work from his employers who were brilliant, to collect them for us. The council must have known there was a bad weather warning and just left us, I am not happy about this at all.”

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At Shoe Zone manager Sue Ingham, who with her colleague Louise Edgar provided cardboard boxes to lay over the water damaged carpet at Xpert's, also criticised the council for a lack of support.

She said: I have not seen anything like this in the town and I have been here seven years, it was really bad, it was like a river outside our shops. There was really bad damage at Xpert's although it could have been even more severe.”

Paul Shepherd, joint owner with his wife Pam of Tuckers Sandwich Bar in the town, said he had been unaffected by the flooding but knew many others shops had been hit.

He said: “One business I know off was left using a pump as the water poured down first thing in the morning. But within a few hours the weather cleared.”

There were also reports from residents of local roads being closed off and flooding hitting the highways in the town.

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