Highways bosses say drainage was not the issue in A47 flooding between Norwich and Dereham

Flooding on the A47 at Easton has caused long delays in both directions. Photo: Ian Sherwood Flooding on the A47 at Easton has caused long delays in both directions. Photo: Ian Sherwood

Saturday, July 12, 2014
11:23 AM

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.

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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 dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk

8 comments

  • Utter poppycock. Off course its the HA who is responsible. They are professionals who want to privatise this asset rich stately concern, god beware, so they know of the increasing chaotic tendencies of our weather patterns and the excesses that can occure. If their usual drainage system is too small to cope and its a re occuring problem, then they have to do something about it. What a lazy response is that?

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, July 12, 2014

  • in response to andre smith not all firefighters were on strike ,some could have been used for pumping out

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    grom999

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • Well said Daisy. For goodness' sake, why were people 'angry'? Who with, what about? That the heavens and the gods should behave like that? Some people want perfect conditions and no problems laid before them all the time - or it is someone else's fault.

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    Patrick

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • "..a similar TAIL of motoring misery ....." Referring to those at the back end of the queues perhaps, or just another example of today's standard of spelling and use of English in newspapers?

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    Roddy

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • I phoned the police to suggest they close the road at St. Olaves as there was a tailback of traffic for a mile and the water was getting deeper by the minute in the flood, however, just got told everywhere was flooded, so, won't bother to inform them again.

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    Lynda

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • Having railed at the EDP and the expectations of those confronted with a bit of wet I do think that the Highways Agency is not on top of roadside maintenance along parts of the A47. I realise we cannot expect C road style grups to let the water off the side-but in places-eg the west bound carriageway of the Blofield bypass, the catch drains are insufficient to prevent sheets of water ( which turn to sheets of ice in frost) which has drained out of the hill straight onto the road. Piped and filled in roadside ditches do not catch flash storm water as quickly as an open ditch which actually has somewhere to take water to, with the culverts properly maintained

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    Daisy Roots

    Friday, July 11, 2014

  • Well, truly an urban centric EDP now if all they are concerned about after such heavy rain is the state of the roads. In the past the reporters would have been aware of the consequences for the farming community of heavy rain and strong winds so close to harvest and the possibility that the cereal crops would lodge and be spoiled. "People are angry.." Good grief, have they all lost the brains they were born with so that they can't work out that if inches of rain fall in a short time we would need Singapore style flood drains to keep the roads dry. Pathetic.

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    Daisy Roots

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

  • Call out the fire brigade to pump it out.... oh wait they are on strike!

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    andre smith

    Thursday, July 10, 2014

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