Sandbags shipped in as rivers set to rise

Brian Cloke, centre, Tony Sprake, right, and others delivering sandbags at The Staithe in Bungay.

Brian Cloke, centre, Tony Sprake, right, and others delivering sandbags at The Staithe in Bungay. Picture: Judy Cloke - Credit: Judy Cloke

There was some early morning relief around flooded communities in Bungay and Ditchingham as they were spared more heavy rainfall overnight.

But as communities continue to deal with the aftermath of the worst floods in more than 50 years in Bungay, Ditchingham, Earsham, Broome, Wainford and the surrounding areas, fears remain as the river levels are expected to rise.

Ben Cheyne, who manages the woodlands on 500 acres of estate land at Cheyne Farms on Norwich Road, Ditchingham, said: "We did not get nearly as much rain as expected last night."

Assessing the roads in the area, Mr Cheyne said that he had been down to the chicken roundabout near Ditchingham Maltings on the A143 on the Bungay and Ditchingham bypass, at 8.15am on Sunday morning.

He said: "The water levels have receded a lot, and there does not appear to be any new flooding, but this may change if the water filters through the system." 

Keen photographer Andrew Atterwill captured these images on Sunday morning highlighting the river levels.

Keen photographer Andrew Atterwill captured these images on Sunday morning highlighting the water levels subsiding on...

Keen photographer Andrew Atterwill captured these images on Sunday morning highlighting the water levels subsiding on the River Waveney in Bungay. Picture: Andrew Atterwill - Credit: Andrew Atterwill

He said: "River Waveney going down slowly thankfully in Bungay."

Keen photographer Andrew Atterwill captured these images on Sunday morning highlighting the water levels subsiding on...

Keen photographer Andrew Atterwill captured these images on Sunday morning highlighting the water levels subsiding on the River Waveney in Bungay. Picture: Andrew Atterwill - Credit: Andrew Atterwill

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The Environment Agency however issued a further flood warning on Sunday morning for The River Waveney from Bungay to Ellingham with "some minor flooding to low lying land, roads and riverside areas likely" through to Monday, December 28.

It said: "River levels are expected to continue to rise.

"The forecast is for showers to get more scattered and less intense as we move into more settled weather."

Areas said to be most at risk are riverside areas in Earsham, Bungay and Ditchingham including the A143.

As communities continue to rally round, sandbags were delivered to flooded homes in Bungay on Saturday as part of a multi-team effort.

Brian Cloke, centre, Tony Sprake, right, and others delivering sandbags at The Staithe in Bungay.

Brian Cloke, centre, Tony Sprake, right, and others delivering sandbags at The Staithe in Bungay. Picture: Judy Cloke - Credit: Judy Cloke

Councillors, the Environment Agency and Bungay Rotary Club were distributing the sandbags as they responded to flood-hit homes in the area on Boxing Day.

The town’s East Suffolk District councillor Judy Cloke got the ball rolling after checking out flooded areas at The Staithe and Bridge Street.

After liaising with Bungay fire station watch commander Andrew Hall, Mrs Cloke said: “I was called on Friday night by Andrew to see if I could liaise with the Environment Agency about sandbags.

“I got in touch with Eddie Rosier (at Bungay Town Council), who contacted the EA, and Tony Sprake (of builders Sprake and Tyrrell), was keen to help when I contacted him.”

Bungay Rotary Club’s senior vice-president Brian Cloke and Mr Sprake (Rotary’s junior vice-president), with others, collected sandbags from the Haddiscoe depot and distributed them to where they were most needed.

Mr Sprake then returned to Haddiscoe for further sandbags to shore up homes in Bridge Street and Ditchingham Dam, where some families had to be evacuated.

Mr Sprake said it was a "team effort" as the club and others responded to the emergency situation.

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