Roads unpassable and village turns into 'island' after horrendous flooding

Alistair Shaw amongst the flooding on Station Road in Blaxhall. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Blaxhall's flood warden Alistair Shaw amongst the flooding in Station Road outside his house. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

A resident who is "fed up" of flooding issues in his street is calling for a permanent solution - after a vehicle reversed into his gate when trying to use his driveway to turn around.  

Alistair Shaw has lived in Blaxhall for more than 30 years, but has never seen the flooding as bad as it is now. 

The 67-year-old lives in Station Road and said he and his wife are often woken during the night to help pull cars out of the water.

He has even been made the village's 'flood warden', as the issue arises so often. 

Many people use his driveway to turn around when they realise the water is too high to pass through, and one woman even reversed into his gate last week. 

"Blaxhall is turning into an island, and recently it has been horrendous," said Mr Shaw. 

"The village constantly floods and I am fed up of it. It's become a nuisance."

Alistair Shaw amongst the flooding on Station Road in Blaxhall. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Alistair Shaw amongst the flooding in Station Road in Blaxhall. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

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Suffolk was swamped by two days of flooding at the end of last week after a deluge of rain on Thursday led to rising river levels and water on the roads.

Two flood warnings and 18 lower level alerts were in place on Friday, and some roads were closed as a result of the excess rainfall. 

Mr Shaw said something needs to be done about the flooding issues in Blaxhall, which saw one house's garden flooded and the road to Tunstall blocked. 

He said: "Blaxhall is sinking under water and the flooding is awful. Something needs to be done."

Mr Shaw said a proper soakaway system needs to be introduced, and more ditches should be put in to take away some of the overflow water. 

Graham Bowles, chairman of Blaxhall Parish Council, agreed that flooding has become a "constant problem" in the village.

He said the parish council continues to raise the issue with Suffolk County Council, which is responsible for the roads, but said officials "do not have the money" to do anything about it.

"All the soakaway drains are full so when it rains it just doesn't go anywhere," said Mr Bowles. 

"It causes a lot of problems especially on the main road towards Tunstall. It is a nuisance."

Flooding in Blaxhall. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Flooding in Blaxhall has become a "constant problem" according to resident Alistair Sharp, who has lived in the village for more than 30 years. - Credit: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mr Bowles said the parish council has been chasing the county council about the issue, but explains they are limited as to what else they can do. 

He said the village has been getting more rain recently than ever before, explaining that modern farming does not help the situation as ditches are not maintained as much as they used to be. 

Previously, the parish council has worked with a local farmer to alleviate the problem, by installing a pipe to take water away to the other side of the village. But this is just a short-term solution.

He said Langham Bridge often floods, as well as Station Road where Mr Shaw lives, and it is not passable in a car.

However, a spokesman for Suffolk Highways said they have had no customer reports regarding flooding for Station Road, Blaxhall.

The spokesman did say that notices have been issued for private ditches to be cleared in Mill Common and there have also been some works carried out to clear the gullies in Ship Corner.

"Where there are areas of continuous flooding which does not disperse within 48 hours, we ask that a report is submitted via our Highways Reporting Tool," the spokesman added.

"Where there is an emergency, such as flooding to property, we encourage residents to report it to us by calling 0345 606 6171."