Highways bosses say drainage was not the issue in A47 flooding between Norwich and Dereham
11:23 12 July 2014
Highways chiefs have said flooding on the A47 between Norwich and Dereham, which led to long delays for drivers, was caused by the sheer amount of rain which fell and not because of problems with drainage.
The flash floods, between Easton and Honingham, created lengthy tailbacks on Thursday night, with some travellers taking more than two hours to get from Norwich to Dereham.
One driver used social media to say it had taken him three hours to get to Norwich from King’s Lynn.
Police received a number of reports about the flooding, with one caller saying the water was “a foot deep and impassable” and others questioning how a major route could get so swamped with water.
But a Highways Agency spokesman said: “There was a localised heavy downpour of rain on the A47 at Easton which meant that traffic signals were used for the safety of road users. Our contractors, in partnership with Norfolk police, managed the flow of traffic throughout the night to allow water to clear and as a precaution for further possible rainfall.
“The traffic signals were removed and all lanes clear by 9am yesterday morning.”
The spokesman added that the floods had been caused by the sheer amount of rain and that it had not been caused by any issues with drainage.
Phil Garner, from University of East Anglia-based forecasters Weatherquest, said measurements at Attlebridge – about six miles away from Easton – has recorded 67.8mm of rain in July so far, when the total rainfall in most months is just over 50mm.
At the end of last month other parts of Norfolk experienced flash floods. A torrential downpour hit east Norfolk villages and Norwich, swamping roads, pavements, homes and gardens and causing disruption on the roads and public transport.
Among the hardest hit communities were Hemsby and Ormesby where the water reached knee deep within minutes.
Weatherquest’s Mr Garner said such wild weather was not uncommon at this time of year.
He said: “If you look at the average rainfall in Norfolk, one of the wettest months of the year is July.
“That’s because you get a high number of storms, with slow-moving weather systems from the west and warm fronts which intrude from Europe.”
Have you been badly affected by flash flooding? Call reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 773275 or email firstname.lastname@example.org