Officers bid to reassure householders

Police community support officers(PCSOs) were knocking on houses in Yarmouth last night to reassure frail or vulnerable people that their homes are safe from floods.

Police community support officers(PCSOs) were knocking on houses in Yarmouth last night to reassure frail or vulnerable people that their homes are safe from floods.

The reassurance visits follow a display of Yarmouth's indomitable grin and bear it spirit during yesterday's flood fears as hundreds of worried residents spent the night in five evacuation centres without complaining.

Despite disappointments about missing birthdays and rearranging moving home, people did not grumble or make a fuss as police asked them to leave properties near the River Yare in the early hours of yesterday morning and go to shelters based at five schools.

From 8.30am yesterday people were told they could leave the largest of the centres at Caister High School, which at its peak housed up to 500 residents, and go back to their homes which had all thankfully escaped the effects of surging tidal waters.

For birthday boy Jamie Copping the night time ordeal will always be burnt into his memory as he missed the chance of waking up at his Sackville Close home and rushing downstairs to open his presents.

Jamie, 15 yesterday, said: “I am a bit annoyed that I can not open my presents right now. I hope I get an Xbox 360 and then I want to go to back to bed.”

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In all 900 people were evacuated in Yarmouth, including patients from Northgate Hospital and care home residents, and during the emergency operations a pregnant woman was taken to hospital as a precaution after it was thought she had gone into labour.

Alec Painton also celebrated his birthday yesterday and the 35-year was looking forward to moving home until his partner, Nikki Fountian, and two-year-old son were forced to evacuate.

He said: “We had moved all our furniture downstairs for the move, and then we had to lug it quickly back upstairs in case our home got flooded. “

Last night Insp Chris Harvey, of police headquarters, said that 40 PCSOs, drafted from across the county, would be visiting homes in areas most threatened by flood to assure vulnerable people that their homes were now safe.

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