Clogged drains cleared once a year

Clogged drains that contributed to last month's devastating floods in Yarmouth are only cleared once a year, a council meeting heard.

Clogged drains that contributed to last month's devastating floods in Yarmouth are only cleared once a year, a council meeting heard yesterday.

Penny Linden, a borough councillor for Southtown and Cobholm, two of the worst-hit areas, said: “I noticed the roads became flooded during heavy rain in August, but when I phoned Norfolk County Council, they told me the drains would not be cleaned out until October. And I was concerned to learn it is only done once a year.”

Fellow councillor Colleen Walker, who spoke out for residents flooded in Oxford Avenue, on Gorleston's Magdalen Estate, said it seemed strange to do the job in October when fallen leaves were likely to quickly block the drains again.

Nick Tupper, from the county council's highways department, confirmed the timescale for drain clearance.

Families from all over the borough joined councillors and officers from a cross-section of agencies at the first town hall meeting of a new civil contingency working party, set up in the aftermath of the flooding, which hit parts of Yarmouth three times in a matter of weeks.

Meeting chairman Jim Shrimplin, the council's cabinet member for environmental services, said: “As much as 117mm of rain fell in just six hours in parts of the town, so with everything working 100pc it is likely there would still have been some problem.”

Most Read

However, he stressed the role of the working party was to shape new strategies to minimise the impact of any future flooding and trigger a more efficient multi-agency response.

He said fire service calls data was being used to plot the town's flooding hotspots, but appealed to families to come forward with information if they felt they were at risk and yet had somehow been neglected so far by the authorities.

Several residents in Winterton voiced concern that planners were not apparently paying sufficient regard to the impact of new housing developments in creating increased surface water run-off.

One described how four inches of silt and mud had been deposited at the end of the village's Bulmer Lane after an “avalanche” running off a field past a new development.

The next meeting of the working party, reporting progress on the new strategies, will be held in mid January.