Fourth flood hits Mildenhall family home

Shawn Novell has had to throw out carpets after his home was flooded by a burst water main.
Picture Mark Westley
Shawn Novell has had to throw out carpets after his home was flooded by a burst water main. Picture Mark Westley

A father says his family needs rehousing after a burst water main meant their home was flooded for the fourth time in two years.

Shawn Novell says his two sons, Danny, 11, and Riley, eight, are now worried that every time it rains the flooding will happen again.

A fire crew laying pipes to pump water outside Shawn Novell's home in Downing Close, Mildenhall

A fire crew laying pipes to pump water outside Shawn Novell's home in Downing Close, Mildenhall

Mr Novell was woken at about 7am on Monday by a neighbour banging on his window in Downing Close, Mildenhall. He said: “I looked out and saw a wave coming down the road.

“I’m at the bottom of Downing Close in a dip – not a good place to be in a flood.”

Suffolk Fire Service say about 10 homes were affected and they were pumping water for about three hours, with the worst affected homes having eight inches in them.

Mr Novell, who cannot insure his home for flooding, said it left everything covered in sand.

The water against Shawn Novell's front door in Downing Close, Mildenhall, with a tide mark showing it peaked two bricks higher

The water against Shawn Novell's front door in Downing Close, Mildenhall, with a tide mark showing it peaked two bricks higher

He said Flagship Housing, who own the property, offered him a bungalow about a mile away but he felt it was in worse condition that his flood-hit home.

“I can’t go on living in this property,” he said. “My son [Danny] has anxiety issues, – I gave up work to look after him – they think it’s going to happen again every time it rains.”

He is also concerned about the impact on his neighbours, some of whom are elderly and have heart conditions.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said the street had a new drainage system installed in October 2015, which was jetted in September and again after this flood.

He added: “This was a hell of a lot of water coming down the street and it just couldn’t cope.”

An Anglian Water spokeswoman said: “We are very sorry for the flooding caused by the burst water main in Downing Close. Our specialist clean-up team will be working with the residents who have been affected to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.”

Andrea Rutterford, head of housing at Flagship said: “We have been working closely with Anglian Water who have responsibility for these repairs.

“We have spoken with all of our customers affected by the flooding on Downing Close to offer advice and support and have provided temporary accommodation where needed.”