Photo gallery: Flooding after a month’s rain in 24 hours for parts of East Anglia

Wisbech Town's game against Harborough was called off at 10.30am on Saturday due to severe waterlogging following Friday's flooding. Pic: Wisbech Town FC Wisbech Town's game against Harborough was called off at 10.30am on Saturday due to severe waterlogging following Friday's flooding. Pic: Wisbech Town FC

Saturday, August 9, 2014
7:23 PM

Parts of West Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire are flooded today after more rain fell in 24 hours than would normally fall in the whole of August.

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Fire crews faced a busy night and were also called out several flooded homes this morning, with the villages of Upwell, Outwell and Emneth in West Norfolk particularly affected by the floods, as well as March and Wisbech in Cambridgeshire.

March went into recovery overdrive today after what is being described as its worst floods in living memory.

Homes and businesses were flooded, while neighbourhoods were left under water and hundreds lost their electricity supply.

Two of the area’s big leisure centres, both run by Fenland District Council, have also been hit by flooding.

A reader's picture of the flooded Factory Shop in March.A reader's picture of the flooded Factory Shop in March.

And this morning Wisbech Town FC’s home match against Harborough Town was called off due to a water-logged pitch.

The opening league match for King’s Lynn Town FC Reserves against Cornard United has also been postponed for the same reason.

In Norfolk last night, fire crews were called to Beachamwell, East Winch, Downham Market, King’s Lynn, Marshland St James, Elm, Wisbech, Ten Mile Bank, Walpole St Peter, Three Holes, Necton, Swaffham, Terrington St Clement and East Walton.

This morning a spokesman for Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said: “There was one initial massive downpour then a break for an hour and then another downpour.

Inside March's flooded factory shop. Photo: Karen Smalley.Inside March's flooded factory shop. Photo: Karen Smalley.

“The second wave of heavy rain was between 11pm and 3am in the morning.

“Although the rain has stopped, people are phoning in this morning as they have woken up to flooded properties.

“The drains aren’t able to cope, the dykes are overflowing which means the ground is saturated and there’s not a lot of places to pump water to.

“We are prioritising vulnerable people and getting round to every single job in due course.

Flooding in March on August 8th 2014. Picture: Steve Williams.Flooding in March on August 8th 2014. Picture: Steve Williams.

“There are no incidents that are under-resourced and we are up-to-date with everything ongoing at the moment.

“The worst areas affected are Emneth, Outwell and Upwell.”

He said Hungate Road in Emneth and Isle Bridge Road in Outwell were particularly affected and warned motorists to stay away from the area.

He added: “There’s a lot of surface water in those areas and we need to notify the public to proceed with caution.

The Tesco in March was forced to shut. Picture: Steve Williams.The Tesco in March was forced to shut. Picture: Steve Williams.

“People were still driving though 12 inches of water causing horrendous bow waves which were causing problems for the residents there.”

The fire service said it had not had to rescue anyone from the water.

Forecasters today said the average rainfall for a whole month is around 50 to 55mm and in just 12 hours yesterday Sutton Bridge, in Lincolnshire, had 63mm of rain.

Met Office forecaster Helen Roberts said March saw more rainfall in one day than it normally would throughout the average August.

Picture of Churchfield Road,  Outwell, taken on Friday, August 8 at about 6pm. PIC: Gemma Pearce.Picture of Churchfield Road, Outwell, taken on Friday, August 8 at about 6pm. PIC: Gemma Pearce.

“March had 68.8mm of rainfall in 24 hours, while the average rainfall for that region in August would normally be 53.6mm,” she said.

Network Power said the final two customers in March who were affected by yesterday’s power failures had supplies restored by 2am this morning.

Cambs fire service said three crews and a high volume pump remained in March today to tackle flooding.

“We are receiving calls this morning from some people who have woken up to discover flood water in their homes, particularly in the March and Oakington areas,” said a spokesman.

Flooding at one end of the village of Gooderstone

.Flooding at one end of the village of Gooderstone .

“If you are affected, turn off electrics and please only dial 999 if there is an immediate risk to life.”

Bigger stores such as Tesco, were forced to evacuate 500 customers yesterday as water came into its Hostmoor store in March. It re-opened at 9am today, but some smaller shops, such as the Maple Grove One Stop Shop, remained closed.

“We have suffered quite a lot of damage and are awaiting our maintenance team, electricians and engineers,” the manager said.

A Fenland District Council spokesman said: “At the Hudson Leisure Centre in Wisbech, the gym and swimming pool are open as normal, but the sports hall, soft play and dance studio will remain closed until Monday due to flood damage.”

The car park at Arbuckles Downham Market, which was flooded on Friday evening.The car park at Arbuckles Downham Market, which was flooded on Friday evening.

However the council said the swimming pool at the George Campbell Leisure Centre March, which was closed yesterday because of flooding, has re-opened.

Elsewhere in March, police have cordoned off an open manhole in Upwell Road, and Nene Parade is closed after part of the riverbank collapsed. Businesses along the road, however, are accessible on foot and remain open.

Those affected by flooding are also now being warned there is the potential for severe weather over much of the UK during Sunday as a depression tracks over, or close to, the UK.

•Elsewhere in the King’s Lynn area, Downham Market businesses and householders were forced to take urgent action to bail out water after last night’s deluge.

The car park of Arbuckles, just off the A10, was under a foot of water from around 6pm last night, according to manager Alastair Drohan.

“The drainage seemed to be working fine, but then about 20 minutes later it was up to my knees.

“We had one of our lads out there throwing out buckets of water for three hours but we just re-routed customers to the back door and carried on.

“We could see from our cameras that it drained away around 4.30am,” he said.

Carol Hopkins, manager of Sense, in the town centre, said she came in this morning to puddles of water on the shopfloor.

“We’ve managed to mop most of it up but we are just lucky we have tiles and not carpeting or it would have been a total refit,” she said.

•In Necton, near Swaffham, roads including St Andrew’s Lane, School Road, Brackenwoods and Chantry Lane were flooded. Couple Dave and Sue Turner, who have lived on Chantry Lane for a year and one month, said they were frightened to go to bed after the ditches near their bungalow burst their banks, gushing water in their back and front gardens, and the man-hole covers in the road erupted, spewing raw sewage. Mrs Turner, 56, who works at a hospital, said: “It’s just a nightmare, it was right up near to our front door.”

•Over in Gooderstone, also in the Swaffham area, one of the main roads in and out of the village was flooded. Villagers said it was the fifth time this year the road had been flooded. Carl Emson, 58, who lives in Gooderstone, said his car got stuck when he attempted to drive through it and he had to push the car out of the flood. “It is an inconvenience but it’s a smashing place to live,” said Mr Emson.

•The South Norfolk area avoided the worst of last night’s floods. Firefighters were called to arcing power cables in Weeting believed to be caused by the weather, with the incident now in the hands of UK Power Network.

Santon Downham weather station has issued a yellow rain warning, meaning there is a small chance of further rain in the immediate future.

Drivers also reported spots of flooding on the A134 from Thetford to Bury St Edmunds, but no accidents have been reported.

Great Yarmouth escaped the worst of the weather with no reports of flooding. The coastal resort is bracing itself for forecast heavy rain tomorrow, however with many outside events planned including the It’s a Dog’s Life dog show in the Market Place.

Lowestoft and the Waveney area appeared to have escaped from the floods that hit the rest of the region with no reports of any incidents involving the emergency services.

This morning the sun was out as people started to head into Lowestoft town centre for their shopping.

• Roadside puddles and leaf debris are the only visible signs of last night’s downpour in north Norfolk which appears to have watered crops and freshened-up gardens rather than causing householders headaches.

Organisers of this evening’s Last Night of the Blickling Proms say the only effect the weather is likely to have on the event is an earlier fly-over by the Spitfire.

Pilot Carolyn Grace had planned to land her aircraft at Norwich Airport after tonight’s display but, because of strong winds forecast for the morning, she will be returning to Bentwaters in Suffolk tonight. The fly-over is now expected to be about half an hour earlier, shortly after 7.30pm.

“The stage is up. It should be a lovely day, with no rain forecast during the event,” said Tiggy Moore, spokesman for the event, in the parkland around the National Trust’s Blickling Hall.

Do you have photos of the flooding? Email kim.briscoe@archant.co.uk

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