Staff and parents battled to save Avenue Junior School in Norwich from floods

Flooding at Avenue Primary School

Flooding at Avenue Primary School - Credit: Archant

Parents joined staff in battling to rescue work by pupils at Avenue Junior School after flood waters overwhelmed the building in the torrential rain of last Thursday.

Flooding at Avenue Primary School

Flooding at Avenue Primary School - Credit: Archant

The Norwich school has now reopened after work went on throughout the weekend to salvage those classrooms which could still be used.

A river of water poured through the building on Thursday evening, submerging two corridors, the library and five classrooms.

This week contingency plans have been put in place which have seen children being taught in remaining classrooms and the nearby sports hall.

Fortunately staff and parents were on hand when the waters began to rise as a new parents evening was being held at the time.

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Debbie Dismore, head teacher of Avenue Junior School, said her staff had worked 'incredibly hard' through the weekend.

'Not all of our classrooms are able to be used but we have made enough progress to be able to accommodate all of the children one way or another,' she said.

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'It was simply the deluge of rain we had that evening, and the sheer amount of water just overwhelmed the drainage system and some of our flat roof areas.

'That just flooded through the outside doors like a little river.'

While staff and parents were unable to stem the rising water, they were able to save children's work and furniture from damage.

'We were able to make sure none of the children's work at all was lost that evening by moving it to safer areas, and we moved very quickly to move furniture which was at risk,' added Ms Dismore.

'The new parents helped us do that which was absolutely wonderful, and quite a lot of the staff ended up staying here quite late with me.

'Two of our large corridors were flooded which effectively blocked off points of entry for the children. The main corridor of the school was flooded, along with five of the classrooms, the library and a small teaching room.

'The whole floor was underwater. By Friday morning the water had seeped in to the floors so there was still a lot of squelching and puddles around, so a great deal of the work has been ripping up floors. 'We have had workmen on site through the weekend and they are still here today with some chemical cleaning equipment. 'This is the first time this has happened to such an extent; we have occasionally had excess water but never a flood of this size. Obviously at the moment we have got no library in use but we can still teach and do what we normally do, just with a bit of creativity. 'At the moment there are still four rooms unable to be used, but we are hoping that will be different over the next couple of days. We are using our music room as a classroom and have sent some children off site to our cluster hub, as well as using the sports centre.'

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