Community unites in face of flooding

Whether it was by donning waders, ploughing through the water in four wheel drive vehicles or making ingenious use of dinghies, the community of Brundall was determined to carry on despite the floods.

Whether it was by donning waders, ploughing through the water in four wheel drive vehicles or making ingenious use of dinghies, the community of Brundall was determined to carry on despite the floods.

The river Yare breached its banks at about 5am and continued to rise until high tide at midday. Most homes are on higher ground so were safe however holiday chalets on the riverside were badly hit. The water level was expected to reach about two foot in the car parks and businesses on the water front.

Millions of pounds worth of boats, some moored on the water, some on hard-standings, faced damage. Boat yards and stores were deluged. The Yare Pub, which has flood frequently in recent years, was also bracing itself for further damage.

However, hopes were high that, although the surge would continue to increase water levels deep inland, the waters would not reach the rail line meaning havoc could be avoided.

Sheri Webb, who lives off Cucumber Lane, said: “I have been here for 25 years and this is by far the worst I have seen it. Thankfully it doesn't look like any people will be harmed but the concern now is for property and businesses.

“We have a boat moored on the river. We were up early and hopefully we've managed to secure it. But there are some very valuable boats moored here and people will be very concerned.

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“Our worry is that even once the surge has past, the water will not clear in time for the next high tide. This could continue to be a problem for three or four days.”

Neighbours Fraer Stevenson and Robert Wilson live on the Riverside Estate. Water was lapping up to their gardens and approaching their homes. They were determined to continue as normal and, using a dinghy kept in his garden, Mr Wilson towed Miss Stevenson along flooded streets so she could go to work.

He said: “We tried to get across just wearing our wellies but the water was too high. I decided to use the dinghy and, although I've got wet, Fraer's dry and can go to work.”

Tom and Rita Adamson, from Horsford, have owned a holiday chalet on the riverside for more than 10 years. They also own a boat moored in the area.

Mrs Adamson said: “You cannot insure the chalets so we will just have to deal with whatever damage there is and get on with it. We don't keep valuables there because, when you own a chalet in this area, you just have to accept that it will flood one day.

“We're more worried about the boat. We're convinced we'll get there and find it in the garden.

“We've tried to wade out but there is no way we can make it. We'll come back later to assess the damage and, fingers crossed, it won't be too bad.”

At Thorpe Green near Norwich council wardens had been montoring the water levels since before 8am. At 11am a retained fire crew from Reepham was also dispatched to monitor any potential surges.

Those living on the island opposite had retreated to their boats while waiting for the water levels to subside.

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