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Flash flooding brings wet end to heatwave




Andrew and Anne-Marie Hill next to one of the drains, which has been causing flooding to their home for years. Picture: Mecha Morton.
Andrew and Anne-Marie Hill next to one of the drains, which has been causing flooding to their home for years. Picture: Mecha Morton.

Short but heavy showers on Sunday brought flash flood misery to homes and businesses across west Suffolk.

Stanton and Great Barton were among the places hit by the isolated, freak showers.

In Stanton, villagers are used to coping with flooding when a natural drainage gulley called the Grundle gets blocked with debris but on Sunday, water and mud cascaded off the fields.

Jamie Maddox and his wife Celia own Celia’s Hair Fashions, in Stanton, and their son Lee realised what was happening and managed to get flood boards in the salon door before much damage was done.

Jamie said: “It was a terrible 10 minutes with it coming off the fields. We came home to 18in of water in the street.”

Lee and his sister Lisa literally waded in to help the village shop with sandbags.

Jamie said he and his family had cleared debris from the Grundle sluice, which is being replaced, to stop floods for 35 years, but that was not the problem this time. He added: “It was freak weather.”

Borough councillor Jim Thorndyke said: “This is, in part, due to the lack of maintenance to the drains and ditches to the south of the village for many years,

“I’m not expecting the county to do the work but they have the powers to get land owners to do it.”

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said: “Where blocked drainage ditches are causing a nuisance to road users, Suffolk Highways can remind landowners of their responsibilities but it would be inappropriate to use taxpayers money to carry out any private ditch clearance.”

On the same day, an 80- year-old couple in Great Barton, who have been suffering drainage, debris and flooding problems for over three years, were hit again.

Anne-Marie and Andrew Hill, who live in The Park, feared as the water built up in the street, it would enter their home.

Debris from nearby trees regularly blocks the drains.

Anne-Marie said: “We feel desperate, and especially with Andrew being ill. He’s had three operations. We feel we have nowhere else to go. We have enough to put up with.”

A Suffolk County Council spokeswoman said: “There has been a delay to Suffolk Highways carrying out maintenance to clear the drains along the A143 due to emergency works by Anglian Water.

“Now the utility work has been completed, Suffolk Highways is scheduled to work in the area within the next two weeks.”

The spokeswoman added that Suffolk Highways could only deal with faults, or get those responsible to do so, if they were reported.

Visit www.suffolk.gov.uk/highways to report defects.



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