December 18 2014 Latest news:
Wednesday, August 13, 2014
Families have been forced out of their homes after flash flooding hit west Norfolk, prompting action from the EDP.
When she woke up to flashing blue lights, Sara Rogers knew it was bad news.
The 48-year-old, of Upwell, near Wisbech, had seen water lapping up to her doorstep when she returned from work in Cambridge on Friday evening.
But torrential rain overnight did the real damage, with a neighbour phoning 999 when he saw water had risen to flood the ground floor.
This was at around 4.30am on Saturday, and local government officer Ms Rogers has been counting the cost since.
Her kitchen was under 6ins of water and has been wrecked; carpets in the semi-detached home are ruined; and cupboards, chairs and a table have been destroyed.
“You can’t describe how distressing it is,” said Ms Rogers, who has been staying with a friend while her house is uninhabitable. “That sudden realisation that everything is gone.
“I’ve lived here 18 years and it’s never flooded.
“You never imagine it’s going to happen.”
She said nearby fields could not hold the water, with dykes overflowing and several properties in the village flooding.
Firefighters were not able to pump water away from her home initially as the surrounding area was flooded and there was nowhere for the water to go.
They made three trips to her property, and were able to clear the water early on Saturday evening.
Ms Rogers has hailed their “incredible” work.
“They were working so hard to try to save people’s properties,” she said. “One officer had worked 72 hours straight, and they always smile as well.”
She said she was impressed with officers from West Norfolk District Council who told her about the EDP Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal and gave her an application form yesterday.
She explained that grant money would be a huge boost in the uncertain weeks while her home is dried out, and she learns of any unforeseen costs.
At least 26 properties – including several in Upwell – have been pumped out by fire fighters after torrential rain caused chaos at the weekend.
And those swamped by the storms now face a heartbreaking wait while their homes are dried out and the full scale of the damage becomes clear.
The EDP is making cash raised through our Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal – set up in the wake of the devastating December tidal surge – available to those who are now in need.
A total of £335,000 was raised by generous donations and has helped dozens of homeowners and businesses hit by the tidal surge, and many people who fell victim to the “monsoon-like” weather that hit Hemsby, Ormesby and Winterton in June.
There is still £26,000 unallocated.
People hit by the west Norfolk flash floods can apply for a grant of up to £500, with those who have yet to complete a form encouraged to do so.
These are available from the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, which is working with the EDP to respond to the impact of the floods.
Graham Tuttle, chief executive of the Norfolk Community Foundation, which is administering the fund, said: “People’s generosity when the December flooding took place has allowed us to react more immediately when there’s need.”
He hoped the grants would help mitigate losses, such as replacing carpets, furniture and white goods.
Elizabeth Nockolds, the borough council’s cabinet member for culture, tourism and marketing, said: “We were saddened to hear that so many people had been affected by flooding at the weekend as a result of the torrential rain.
“Working with the Norfolk Community Foundation and the EDP, we are delighted that we are able to offer some relief to those families in the form of a small grant of up to £500.”
Dave Robson, environmental
health manager for the authority, appealed for others who were
affected by the flash flooding to get in touch.
“This is all part of our recovery exercise,” he said. “We are still getting information about where the problems are, but obviously these are in villages and remote locations.
“Getting information to them is difficult, so anything we can do to publicise the fund would help.
“Our main role at the moment is just to find out what assistance people need. The EDP Norfolk and Lowestoft Flood Appeal, is a very quick system that can be rolled out.
“It is all in place and we’re glad
we can rely on it, as and when
it is required, so swift action
can be taken.”
David Powles, EDP assistant editor, said yesterday: “Dozens of people have already been helped by this appeal after being affected by either the floods last December or those we’ve seen through the summer – and that is thanks to the generosity of our readers.
“We are delighted to be able to
help those in the west of our
For details of the flood grant applications, call the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk on 01553 616200.