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Heartache as Great Yarmouth homes flood again - and no answers as to why

PUBLISHED: 13:41 07 March 2014 | UPDATED: 14:12 07 March 2014

Alan Thompson whose house has been badly flooded on Lichfield Road.

Picture: James Bass

Alan Thompson whose house has been badly flooded on Lichfield Road. Picture: James Bass

Archant Norfolk © 2014

Engineers are investigating the trigger for reoccurring flooding that is causing heartache for a string of residents in Great Yarmouth.

Homeowners in Lichfield Road have been swamped with water twice in the space of three weeks after bouts of rainfall, and are now concerned flooding could become a regular problem if the root cause is not identified and solved.

The recent torrents, which have poured under floorboards, have caused additional misery for many residents who are still recovering from the December 5 tidal surge.

Many were hoping to have their homes signed off so they could begin redecorating but equipment has had to be moved back in to begin the process of drying out again.

For Alan Thompson the most recent deluge on Saturday means he is now having to dry out the home he shares with his elderly mother for the third time.

The 58-year-old said he and his neighbours had suffered for years with blocked drains, which he believes is causing the floods.

“We were going to get a dry certificate this week, it’s just another headache. Anglian Water can’t keep coming out and unblocking it, the problem’s got to be solved,” he added.

“I’m getting angry now and my mother’s getting upset. Each time it happens I have been delayed a month [in repairing the house].”

Neighbour Elaine McInroy said she “couldn’t believe it” when water started rising in her toilet again, as she was looking forward to getting builders in to start repairing damage caused by the surge three months ago.

She added: “Until this is repaired this could happen on a weekly basis if it rains. As soon as it rains the drains all fill up and it comes back indoors.

“I know we’re only a few little houses but these are our castles.”

After the most recent flooding, which followed a tide of damp at the beginning of February, it was believed drains were being blocked by silt getting into a gully behind the properties.

But Anglian Water has said it does not believe this to be the cause and the long-standing issue of groundwater could be heightened by an underground river.

Spokesman Satnam Kaur said after the February incident a CCTV survey of the drains was carried out, which revealed no “structural defects”.

She added: “We sympathise with the affected customers and are working with the local environmental health officer to investigate this further.

“There are historical issues of groundwater in this area and an underground river also runs near the properties, which could be exacerbating the problem.

“At this stage we do not believe the flooding is related to silt or earth from the gully located behind the properties.”

Great Yarmouth Borough Council said it was supporting efforts to find out the cause, but added it was not responsible. A spokesman said: “The borough council has no responsibility for either the combined sewer or highways drainage systems, which fall under Anglian Water and Norfolk County Highways respectively, although it is liaising with both organisations.

“Great Yarmouth’s officers have visited some of the properties as part of its obligations as a risk management authority under the Flood and Water Management Act 2010 and continues to liaise with Norfolk County Council, which is the lead local flood authority for the purposes of that act, to aid efforts to get to the bottom of the issue.”

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