Flood alert: Beccles counts cost

Roads and gardens were flooded in Beccles yesterday but homes seemed to have escaped without damage. The main casualties were boats, some of which overturned or sank having been tied up without room to rise with the waters.

Roads and gardens were flooded in Beccles yesterday but homes seemed to have escaped without damage.

The main casualties were boats, some of which overturned or sank having been tied up without room to rise with the waters. Sheds on Puddingmoor were also flooded after a floodgate was left open.

Police directed traffic, with Fen Lane closed and Bridge Street partially blocked by flooding.

But mostly there was a feeling that Beccles had, as Waveney council leader Mark Bee put it, “got away with it”. Sandbags and boards had been put to good use to protect homes around the quay.

Vicky Collins, from the council, said: “The residents around here are saying this is the worst they have seen in 50 years.”

Claire Hadingham, who runs Waveney Cue Club on Fen Lane, said the building had escaped flooding, but added: “I have never seen it quite as bad as this.”

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Four people spent Thursday night in Beccles Public Hall, which had been opened as a rest centre. Two were workers from offshore rigs who had been stood down due to the weather, and the others came from Broadland Holiday Village in Oulton Broad.

Lisa Grove, housing officer from Waveney District Council, said: “Local councillors have been coming in overnight to offer help, though we didn't need it.”

The RSPCA was called out to rescue 26 cows from the floods between Haddiscoe and St Olaves. The Limousin cross cattle were the focus of an unusual cattle herding operation, with an inflatable dinghy and two RSPCA officers in the water trying to encourage them to safety.

The cattle were in the field next to Haddiscoe Dam, where the A143 was closed all day as water poured across it. Water levels in Loddon were four to five feet higher than usual at their peak. Electric points at the quay boatyards were affected but buildings escaped the floods.

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