Norwich counts the cost of this week’s flash floods
08:18 29 May 2014
Norwich City Council held urgent talks with Anglian Water following Tuesday’s deluge which left businesses and roads flooded.
It is thought the flooding was caused by drains being unable to cope with the level of rain – although the downpour was not uncommon for this time of year.
The drainage systems are jointly operated by Norwich City Council and Anglian Water, and the organisations are trying to establish the cause of any possible blockages.
The council is responsible for the gullies, while Anglian Water is responsible for the rest of the sewerage and drainage systems.
Extra staff have been called in to help deal with any problems, and ensure the system is able to cope with future heavy downpours.
Some areas of the city saw more than 40mm of rain fall during the period of the flooding, but Weatherquest pointed out that this was not necessarily unusual for this time of year.
A spokesman said: “It seems like a lot of rain but we can get that in half-an-hour in some summer thunderstorms. Yes it was wet, but it was not exceptional.”
However, Anglian Water said its systems had been “overwhelmed” by the downpour, which, it said, had fallen “in a short space of time”.
A spokesman added: “We understand how devastating any form of flooding is to homes and businesses and our teams are working with customers to help clean up any flooding and return things to normal.
“We have drafted in extra manpower, with staff working their days off and around the clock across Norfolk to help customers.
“Many different organisations are equally responsible for the drainage network, so we are in touch with them about the present weather conditions and also planning for the future.”
Norwich City Council reassured residents, saying it ran a regular maintenance programme to reduce the risk of gullies becoming blocked and causing flooding.
A spokesman said: “Following the recent heavy rainfall, it is not yet clear whether the flooding in some areas was due to blockages in the gullies, or if it was caused by a problem further down in the sewerage system, which is maintained by Anglian Water.
“We are now working to find out the cause of the problem in each area affected and then appropriate action will be taken by the relevant party.”
Meanwhile, the Environment Agency issued some flood alerts for the region last night, following the rain.
The alerts are the lowest level, but the Agency advised people to keep an eye on local water levels and weather conditions.
Warnings were issued for the River Bure, downstream of Corpusty, and the Spixworth Beck, the River Waveney from Diss to Ellingham, and the River Stiffkey from Great Walsingham to Stiffkey.
Low lying land and roads will be affected first, but river levels are expected to rise slowly and then stabilise.
Alerts were also in place for the Rivers Deben and Lark and the Rattlesden River and River Gipping through Stowmarket and Needham Market.
The Met Office is not predicting any rain for the rest of the week as homes and businesses begin to clean up.
Anybody concerned about flooding should call Floodline on 0345 988 1188 for up-to-date information.
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