Plea for action after Cromer family washed out of home for second time in three months

Gary Deere surveys the flood damage at his home in Cromwell Road, Cromer.

Gary Deere surveys the flood damage at his home in Cromwell Road, Cromer. - Credit: Ally McGilvray

A devastated family forced to flee their home following a freak flood in the summer have been hit by another deluge - just days before they planned to move back in.

The local minister's home was also hit by floods in Cromwell Road, Cromer.

The local minister's home was also hit by floods in Cromwell Road, Cromer. - Credit: Ally McGilvray

Gary Deere believed he was the victim of a cruel joke when he was first alerted to the latest damage to his property in Cromwell Road, Cromer, today (Friday).

However, he revealed the devastation caused by the torrential rain, which was triggered by a thunderstorm, could cost upwards of £60,000 to repair.

Speaking outside his home, Mr Deere said: 'We've been (out of the property) three months now and we're going to have to start again.

'The insurance company, Aviva, have been fantastic but when we come to insure next time what's going to happen then?'

Firefighters were called to pump water away from homes in Cromwell Road, Cromer.

Firefighters were called to pump water away from homes in Cromwell Road, Cromer. - Credit: Ally McGilvray


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Mr Deere suffered his first flood on June 23 but claimed requests for help have gone unheeded.

And now, with fire crews from Cromer and Sheringham called to pump water from his and neighbouring properties, he is urging officials at the water authority and council to take action to prevent a repeat.

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Mr Deere said: 'Someone's got to stand up and say we need to sort something out because how often is this going to happen?

'The water dyke at the back is over six foot six and it's absolutely full. Normally there is just a dribble.

Firefighters were called to pump water away from homes in Cromwell Road, Cromer.

Firefighters were called to pump water away from homes in Cromwell Road, Cromer. - Credit: Ally McGilvray

'We've tried Anglian Water and we've tried Norfolk County Council and they've all just basically fobbed us off and say it is not their fault.'

Mr Deere has lived in the property for six and a half years without any problems and then suffered two devastating floods within three months.

He revealed he was just checking on how repairs were going when he was alerted to the latest damage.

Mr Deere said: 'We were within probably a week of moving back in with all our refurbishment - new floorboards, new painting, new kitchen; the only good thing is we haven't had new furniture put in yet otherwise we would have lost everything else again.

Amy-Lou Gaskin shared this picture of her son, Henry, manning the barricades at his grandad's home i

Amy-Lou Gaskin shared this picture of her son, Henry, manning the barricades at his grandad's home in Brownshill, Cromer. - Credit: Amy-Lou Gaskin

'We phoned the house because they were finishing off and talked to one of (the workmen) and he said: 'I think you better get here', and I said: 'You're joking?' Because I thought he was. But it's exactly the same.

'The water dyke at the back is over six foot six and it's absolutely full. Normally there is just a dribble.

'We've got all wooden floors, they've all just been replaced and they will all have to come out.'

Water bosses insisted they did everything they could in prepration for Friday's deluge but promised to investigate any concerns raised.

A drain overflows during a thunderstorm in Cromer.

A drain overflows during a thunderstorm in Cromer. - Credit: Ally McGilvray

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: 'In preparation for the torrential rain and lightning right across the East of England, yesterday we had teams out checking key pumping stations to ensure they are in full working order, and making sure we had crews in the right areas at the right times when the weather was expected to be worst.

'Flooding can be caused by a combination of factors and we will be looking at what's happened in Cromwell Road. We will also be working closely with the County Council, Highways, Environment Agency who share responsibility for the overall drainage network to look at what steps we can take to reduce the impact in future.'

Norfolk County Council has urged residents across the region to report flooding hotspots.

A spokesperson for the local authority said: 'It appears that the property at Cromwell Road has been affected by the flooding of a ditch situated at the rear of the property. This is on private property land and not the responsibility of NCC.'

Firefighters were called to pump water away from homes in Cromwell Road, Cromer.

Firefighters were called to pump water away from homes in Cromwell Road, Cromer. - Credit: Ally McGilvray

'However, our Flood & Water Team would encourage people affected by flooding to contact us, so that flooding hotspots can be identified and advice offered. People can do this via our call centre or by emailing Flood and Water Management on our website https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/safety/floods/report-a-flood. Please note that this is not for emergency situations.

'In addition , Highways area teams can carry out checks to ensure the efficacy of our drainage and gullies. Any specific concerns should be reported to us through the NCC website.'

Cromwell Road wasn't the only street in the town affected by flooding as roads turned into waterways following incessant rain.

And motorists were warned to take extra care across the region as heavy rain made for treacherous driving conditions.

A smell of raw sewage was reported in Cromer as an overflowing drain in Cliff Avenue sent murky coloured water spilling into the town centre.

Meanwhile, in nearby Brownshill, sandbags had to be deployed to protect homes from flooding.

Amy-Lou Gaskin, who sent us a picture of her son Henry manning the barricades, said: 'My son was at his grandad's, they couldn't leave the house as water was starting to come in.' But she added: 'Luckily, the level did drop.'

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