Neighbours in Besthorpe speak of their shock at their homes being hit by severe flash floods
PUBLISHED: 10:27 04 June 2018
People living in a south Norfolk community have spoken of their shock at having their homes flooded with water during the weekend's torrential rain.
About 10 homes in the Norwich Road and Hill Road area of Besthorpe, near Attleborough were affected by the severe flooding which started at about 4.30pm on Saturday and saw crews of firefighters working late into the night trying to pump out the huge deluge.
Grant Fiddy, a 32-year-old builder, who lives in Norwich Road with his wife Rebecca, 33, and their children Penelope Anne, three, and Theodora, four months, said: “It was raining heavily outside, and then all of the sudden the water came from the back garden and it built up and up and then it started coming through the doors.
“Within 10 minutes it was up to my knees in my front room.”
Throughout today friends and family have been helping them salvage what they could from the ground floor of their home as they counted the cost of the work that will need to be done.
“Everything is ruined [downstairs], everything has to be replaced, new kitchen, new bathroom,” Mr Fiddy said.
He said he thought it would cost about £15,000 to £20,000 to redo all the rooms in the bottom floor of the house and that he planned to do the work himself while the whole family lives at a friends house in Wymondham
Looking on the bright side, he said: “At least it has given me a blank canvas.”
Mrs Fiddy added that they had been overwhelmed by all the help they had received from friends and family.
Their next-door neighbour, 86-year-old Joy Shepherd, has lived in her property for more than 40 years.
“It’s a washout,” she said about her home.
“For it to happen so quickly, there must be something wrong with the drainage [in the area].”
She said when she saw the water coming she grabbed her cats and took them to safety upstairs where she stayed overnight.
“Then I woke up this morning and looked at it and there was still some water,” she said, describing the scene in the ground floor of her home today.
“It’s soaking. It’s all got to be decorated and everything.
“I’m going to stay at my niece’s for a couple of nights and then see what’s going to happen.
“I am insured but you could not even get through to them this morning.”
Another neighbour, who wanted to remain anonymous, had alerted the fire service to the flooding.
“I looked out the back window and saw it (the water) all over the ditch,” he said.
“It took one minute 34 seconds from the ditch to the house while I was on the phone to them (the emergency services).
“The back door held it a bit and then it just started coming through the floor.
“Within five minutes I was in three feet of water. It was very quick.
“I was getting stuff out of the living room, putting the cats upstairs.
“The fire service came and started trying to pump the water out. They were here until just after midnight.”
He said he been offered alternative accommodation, but that he wanted to stay in his home while it was repaired.
“The fridge-freezer, washing machine, cooker - whatever I could not grab is gone. The fridge-freezer was floating around the kitchen,” he said.
But he said he had been heartened by how kind people had been following the flooding.
“The community spirit has been excellent. I never knew so many people lived in Besthorpe until this happened,” he said.
A number of people in nearby Hill Road were also affected by the flooding, including 53-year-old farmer Tom Hastings and his family.
He said: “The [water in the] ditch just came up and up and eventually flowed over the road and started going into people’s driveways and houses. It flooded our garage but it missed our home by about an inch.
“This was all going on until past 11pm last night. The firefighters were trying to pump the water out but they couldn’t do anything.
“There’s about five properties on the other side of the road (Hill Road) that have been flooded.”
He said he believed the flooding was due to problems with a pipe runing under the road towards Norwich Road.
“I have lived here for 26 years and I cleanit [the ditch] out every year and I have never know it to be as bad as this before.
Across the road, Tony Parker, a 46-year-old supervisor at Lotus Cars, was clearing up the mess that the flooding had caused in his home.
Mr Parker, who is married to Sonya, 45, and has two sons, Layton, 11, and Dalton, 12, said: “Yesterday Layton came down and said, ‘there’s water coming through the door’ and before we knew it, it was flooded. About 15 minutes later there was six to eight inches in the house coming in front and back.”
He added: “It was a bit gutting this morning - we had a wooden floor and that’s now all ripped up. The whole of the bottom of the house is ruined.
“We are just waiting for the insurance to get back to us now.
“I am gutted about the situation.
“I’ve lived here 21 years. I don’t know if we can stay living here in the property while the work is going on, I just don’t know.”
Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service received more than 40 calls from people affected by flash flooding across Norfolk yesterday from the early afternoon until about 9.30pm, but said that the Besthorpe area was among the most heavily affected.
A fire service spokesman said fire crews were called out to Norwich Road and Hill Road in Besthorpe at about 5pm and remained there until the early hours of the morning.
Police were also called to the scene and advised drivers to avoid the area.
Firefighters were also called out to flooding incidents in other places including Suton, Wymondham, Spooner Row, Hellesdon, Dilham and North Walsham.