Month’s worth of rain falls in 12 hours

RICHARD BATSON Rivers rose, roads ran with water and gardens flooded as a month's worth of rain fell in 12 hours across Norfolk. The north and east of the county took the brunt of the battering from the weather - but the region got off lightly compared with other parts of England.

RICHARD BATSON

Rivers rose, roads ran with water and gardens flooded as a month's worth of rain fell in 12 hours across Norfolk.

The north and east of the county took the brunt of the battering from the weather - but the region got off lightly compared with other parts of England.

And the good news for organisers of weekend events was that the worst was over. Saturday's rain is likely to be restricted to scattered, though possibly thundery showers, while Sunday should be dry.

Torrential overnight rain, however, did cause problems in some parts, with the Environment Agency issuing flood warnings on the upper Bure between Aylsham and Corpusty, Spixworth Beck flowing to Horsham St Faiths, and the Mun at Mundesley.

Ironically there was also a shortage of water at Mundesley - from people's taps, when the heavy rain caused ground movement and a burst main, resulting in 120 homes in the Warren Road area being without supplies for about six hours from 10am.

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At Cromer, residents of Cromwell Road, who have been suffering long-standing problems with surface water drainage problems, again found their side road awash with rivers of rain which got through sandbag defences and into gardens.

Philip Bligh, whose back lawn was under 12in of water at one stage, said residents were in despair while authorities looked into the problem. The 70-year-old retired medical researcher and priest said the problems seemed to stem from a drainage system unable to cope with development in the area.

The town's nearby cricket pitch outfield was also under water in what club officials believe to be a related problem which could put weekend games at risk.

Firecrews were called to help pump floodwater at a variety of locations including Edgefield near Holt, and Dereham, where children going to school had the fun of “walking the plank” after Toftwood residents Patrick and Diane Lambert put down a scaffold board to help youngsters stay out of the puddles.

The rain caused a minor hiccup in the strawberry harvest, with picking of fruit for making into frozen desserts abandoned for the day, but work on crops for the fresh market - which are under plastic covers - able to continue.

Tim Place, of Place UK at Tunstead, said there was also expected to be some damage to the freezing fruit, and sales of fresh strawberries were down a slightly awaiting a pick up when the sun shone again.

Pea growers were happy to “wait for a few hours” for conditions to dry out because they were well on top of their harvest, said Richard Hirst, chairman of Anglia Pea Growers.

Forecaster Phil Garner of WeatherQuest said the monthly average was 40-45mm and many places had almost got it in 12 hours.

Weybourne and Buxton were the wettest spots with 35.6mm and 34.6mm, while Marham had 18mm, and Holbeach 22.4mm, while Wattisham in Suffolk had less than 1mm, showing that Norfolk, and the north in particular took the brunt of the bad weather.

The downpours came from a slow-moving cold weather front, which lingered over northern England even longer causing greater flood problems in the Midlands and West Yorkshire.

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