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Questions over drainage as Norwich business floods for third time in eight weeks

PUBLISHED: 12:31 11 August 2014 | UPDATED: 12:31 11 August 2014

The flooded car park in Waldemar Park, Hellesdon after the heavy rain.
Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

The flooded car park in Waldemar Park, Hellesdon after the heavy rain. Picture by SIMON FINLAY.

Families and businesses in Norwich have called for improvements to drainage after the torrential rain on Sunday saw their properties flooded yet again.

Nightspots in Prince of Wales Road and garages in Hellesdon were among those buildings which have already been deluged with rainwater and sewage several times this year.

Firefighters were called to Roccos in Prince of Wales Road at about 12.30pm, after the downpour resulted in its basement being flooded - with its manager saying it was the third time in eight weeks it had flooded.

Due to the firefighters strike, which took place between noon and 2pm today, a retained crew were called to deal with the incident.

The crew commander, who did not want to be named, said: “Because of the heavy downpour the drains just couldn’t cope with the amount of water that fell in a short period of time.”

The commander said they pumped out between four and six inches of water from the basement of Roccos.

While they were dealing with that incident they were contacted by the owners of Lost on Prince of Wales Road who had a similar problem.

The commander said they got the call at about 1.15pm and discovered about six inches of water in the basement which was being pumped out.

Toby Middleton, of Roccos, said last night: “We had the fire brigade in and they saved our basement. It was the third time in eight weeks now.

“We have got the surveyors coming in tomorrow morning to put some non-returnable valves in to the sewage.

“We believe it’s the caused by problems with the drains and it’s happening right the way down the street.

“We’re scared of what will happen next year when we try to get our insurance again.

“We try to dry out the basement and dehumidify it and then two weeks down the line it happens again.

“Thankfully we were able to stay open because the fire brigade came and helped us out.”

Flash floods has been a feature of the summer, with people across Norfolk affected as the drains and rivers have struggled to cope with the high levels of rainfall falling in a short space of time.

This latest rain, brought by the remnants of ex-hurricane Bertha, resulted in flooding at garages in Hellesdon.

But people living in Waldemar Park, off Waldemar Road, said the floods came every single time it rained.

A 39-year-old man, who did not want to be named, had moved to the area in the past three or four months and still had items stored in cardboard boxes in the garage.

He said: “We’ve still got a lot of boxes and some of them have had the bottoms rotted out of them. One of the neighbours was saying its like this every time it rains.”

Douglas Frost, 74, who has lived in the area for the past five years said: “It doesn’t have to flood heavy. It just floods every time there’s a little bit of rain.”

A 36-year-old man, who did not want to be named, said: “Every time it rains its flooded. It’s happened several times this year.”

Norfolk police control room received a number of calls about flooding with places like Larling and Wymondham among those affected, while roads were blocked due to fallen cable lines and trees, including one tree which blocked the northbound A10 carriageway in Kings Lynn, and another which fell across the B1111 in Great Hockham.

Two cars became stuck in flood water, one in Belaugh Green Lane in Belaugh Green at 4pm, and another in Horning Road West, Hoveton shortly after 3.30pm and police closed the road underneath the railway bridge in Belaugh Road, Hoveton, due to flooding.

A police spokeswoman said: “Our advice is to only drive through pockets of water where you can see it’s safe to drive through and we would urge caution.”

The worst of the heavy rain had passed by late afternoon, but it was replaced by strong winds of up to 40mph into the evening, and forecasters were warning there could be some fallen branches and trees around this morning.

Dan Holley, a forecaster for UEA-based Weatherquest, said there had been the potential for a tornado on Sunday, and there had been reports of one in the Hull area, but it would need to be confirmed following investigations into the damage.

He said: “There has been some rotation going on in the clouds but it doesn’t look like anything dropped down from it in our area.”

Today and Tuesday are also expected to be windy, with the gusts dropping a bit on Wednesday, after which the weather is expected to be breezy, cooler with temperatures of around 20 to 21C, and there will be pockets of sunshine and showers.

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