‘It all happened so quickly’ - Ormesby man describes sewer flooding following heavy rain

Stuart Calver in his flooded kitchen in Ormesby St Margaret. Several homes were badly flooded.Pictur

Stuart Calver in his flooded kitchen in Ormesby St Margaret. Several homes were badly flooded.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

A young family in Ormesby were shocked this morning when they went downstairs to find the bottom floor of their house flooded following heavy rain.

Water pouring up from under the manhole cover outside homes on The Oaks in Ormesby St Margaret. Seve

Water pouring up from under the manhole cover outside homes on The Oaks in Ormesby St Margaret. Several homes were badly flooded.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Stuart Calver, who lives at The Oaks in Ormesby, went upstairs to get ready for work at 10.30am, but when he returned downstairs he was met with a foot of sewage water.

'I was upstairs for maybe ten minutes,' said Mr Calver, who works as a retail manager. 'When I came back down half of the bottom floor was covered in water, and it was still coming up from the toilet.'

Mr Calver, 43, grabbed his two-year-old son Oliver from the front room where he was playing, and passed him upstairs to his mum.

'It all happened so quickly that we haven't been able to save the furniture or anything,' he said.

'When we moved in we were aware there had been flooding in the area but we were assured by Anglian Water this had all been sorted out and it would be fine.'

Geoff Freeman, Ormesby Parish Council chairman, said that flooding had been an ongoing problem in the village for many years, and that three properties in The Oaks had been affected in this latest round.

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'It used to be that the lower part of the village would get flooded, because of surface water going into the pumping station which couldn't cope,' Mr Freeman said.

'Anglian Water installed a relief pumping station around 2010, after a long campaign by villagers, and although that helped the lower part of the village other parts still suffer.'

The Oaks housing development is built on the site of the old Royal Oak pub, which Mr Freeman said was prone to flooding before its closure.

He said when the development was proposed it was originally refused by the borough council because of flooding concerns, but that it was approved on appeal after assurances were given that the infrastructure could cope.

'It's just a nightmare, this problem has been on and off for years,' Mr Freeman added. 'It's heartbreaking for people, most of them have young families, but when we get some good heavy rainfall like this morning the system just can't cope.'

Mr Freeman said he would like to meet with Anglian Water to discuss the problems in the village, and assured residents that the parish council would be very vocal in asking why this was happening.

In the meantime, Mr Calver and his family will be staying with his partner's parents while the issue is rectified. Anglian Water visited his property this afternoon.

'At the end of the day it shouldn't be a problem in this modern world,' he said.

Anglian Water spokesperson, Nik Shelton, said: 'We know how unpleasant sewer flooding can be and we are sorry that some residents in The Oaks have experienced flooding.

'We responded to this incident as quickly as possible and our teams are on site helping with the clean-up. We will be checking all our pipes and equipment in the area to try and find out why this happened and we will stay on close contact with affected residents to keep them informed.'

Road users across the borough were also disrupted following the heavy rain, as surface water caused difficult conditions in Hemsby, on Newport Road, Hall Road and Common Road. Fire officers attended to assess the situation but were not needed.

In Belton, there was surface water on New Road, and motorists were advised to drive to the conditions by police on Twitter.