Towns battered by flash floods

HUNDREDS of people battled flash floods yesterday after drainage systems in two coastal towns were “overwhelmed” by torrential rain.More than 60 properties - including schools and businesses - in Lowestoft were affected, according to Anglian Water.

HUNDREDS of people battled flash floods yesterday after drainage systems in two coastal towns were “overwhelmed” by torrential rain.

More than 60 properties - including schools and businesses - in Lowestoft were affected, according to Anglian Water.

Bosses said the problems, which also affected nearby Great Yarmouth, were caused by the sheer volume of rain.

Sara Rowland, spokeswoman for Anglian Water, said: “We've seen a considerable amount of rainfall in that part of Suffolk since the early hours of the morning.


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“It has been an absolute torrent of rain and we all know that water can be destructive at the best of times.”

Around ten properties in Lowestoft were affected by internal flooding and 50 by external flooding.

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These were in the Oulton Broad, Long Road and Saxton Road area. Stradbroke Road, Pakefield Street and Norwich Road were also affected.

Extra crewmembers from Anglian Water were sent into the town to clear up the water.

“Customers, highways, everybody has been outperformed by nature,” said Ms Rowland. “We are sympathetic of those who have experienced flooding and are taking it very seriously.”

Water company officials said the problem had been worsened by a blockage in a pump at a drainage station.

“The system is designed to cope with a certain amount of rain but it has been so heavy in the early hours that the network has been overwhelmed,” said an Anglian Water spokesman.

Anne-Marie Breach, press officer for Suffolk Police, said: “We had a number of calls in the morning from several areas in Lowestoft.”

Foxborough Middle School in the town also had to be closed due to the floods.

John Ross, a spokesperson for Suffolk County Council, said: “It was closed because there was so much flood damage. There has been so much water and it's made a terrible mess.”

Mr Ross said that the school would definitely be closed today as well and possibly Wednesday.

Meanwhile, floods were said to be several feet deep in places in Great Yarmouth and firefighters said at the peak of the deluge they were receiving four to five 999 calls a minute.

Norfolk County Council said a number of schools in the Great Yarmouth area had been closed.

“An emergency plan was put into operation - which involved the local authorities and emergency services,” said a council spokesman.

“The fire service was overwhelmed with 999 calls. We had between 200 and 300 calls over a four-and-a-half hour period.”

Forecasters from Weatherquest estimated that there would be 50mm (two inches) of rain by the end of the day.

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