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Renewed calls for action to protect town from flooding after stormy weekend

PUBLISHED: 07:58 05 October 2020 | UPDATED: 12:52 05 October 2020

Dereham saw overflowing drains, stnading water on roads and some flooded gardens and outbuildings during the heavy rain of September 25-26. Picture: Harry Clarke

Dereham saw overflowing drains, stnading water on roads and some flooded gardens and outbuildings during the heavy rain of September 25-26. Picture: Harry Clarke

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A councillor has called for action after heavy wind and rain led to flooding in Dereham.

Breckland District councillor Harry Clarke. Picture: Harry ClarkeBreckland District councillor Harry Clarke. Picture: Harry Clarke

Harry Clarke, a town and Breckland district councillor, said far more needed to be done to tackle the issue after areas including Becclesgate, Larner’s Drift, Shipdham Road and the Middlemarch Road underpass saw significant standing water following the storm on September 25-26, with some back gardens and outhouses flooded.

Mr Clarke said the county council should have done more after flooding in Dereham in previous years, including in 2012 and 2016.

He said: “I saw one back garden that has been flooded repeatedly and people are getting fed up.

“We’ve had some exceptional rain but the system hasn’t been able to cope. Some of this is due to creaking infrastructure and it’s also to do with maintenance. We shouldn’t be relying on people to put their own safety at risk in clearing it up.”

Dereham saw overflowing drains, stnading water on roads and some flooded gardens and outbuildings during the heavy rain of September 25-26. Picture: Harry ClarkeDereham saw overflowing drains, stnading water on roads and some flooded gardens and outbuildings during the heavy rain of September 25-26. Picture: Harry Clarke

Mr Clarke called for a public meeting so flooding concerns could be discussed.

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Phillip Duigan, county councillor for Dereham South, agreed more needed to be done to help the town cope with heavy rain.

Mr Duigan said he saw some areas, such as School Lane, flooded even though they had not been in the past.

District and county councillor for part of Dereham, Phillip Duigan. Picture: Breckland CouncilDistrict and county councillor for part of Dereham, Phillip Duigan. Picture: Breckland Council

But he said other areas coped better than in previous years, and the county council was taking action.

Mr Duigan said: “A lot of work so far has been done at the preparatory stage, but there was work done on the South Green just after 2016, and that has made a difference.”

He said such heavy rainfalls seemed to be becoming more common, which could have to do with climate change.

He said: “We have to look to the future and realise that what we’ve done in the past might not have been enough.”

Dereham saw overflowing drains, stnading water on roads and some flooded gardens and outbuildings during the heavy rain of September 25-26. Picture: Harry ClarkeDereham saw overflowing drains, stnading water on roads and some flooded gardens and outbuildings during the heavy rain of September 25-26. Picture: Harry Clarke

A county council spokesperson said the authority investigated the flooding in Dereham in 2016 and produced a report on the issue, adding: “In most cases surface water will go down after a few hours as the drains deal with the unexpected high volume of water, so we always ask people to please be patient.

“However, if you are concerned that the water has not disappeared after this time or is causing a hazard please let us know here: www.norfolk.gov.uk/safety/floods/report-a-flood.”


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