Residents use brooms to save homes from flooding

Residents use brooms to clear floodwater from Beatrice Road in Thorpe Hamlet

Residents use brooms to clear floodwater from Beatrice Road in Thorpe Hamlet - Credit: Justin Goulty

Residents in a Norwich suburb used brooms and dogged determination to protect their homes as flash flooding struck.

Floodwater on Beatrice Road in Thorpe Hamlet was shin-high after a torrential downpour at around 3pm on Friday.

The street has been hit by flooding in the past with surface water running down the hill from Quebec Road and St Leonards Road.

Resident Justin Goulty, 51, said he went out in shorts, a shirt and canvas shoes with his broom as he did not have time to put on wellies.

He said: "We must have been out there a good hour trying to push the water down the road almost creating waves. I was absolutely soaked through to the skin and everything had to go straight in the washing machine.

Flooding on Beatrice Road last year which residents say was not as bad as what happened on Friday

Flooding on Beatrice Road last year which residents say was not as bad as what happened on Friday - Credit: Justin Goulty

"We were lucky the water did not actually come in the house. You could see everyone out there with their brooms making sure leaves were not blocking the drains. 

"This time we were lucky as people were working at home due to Covid, but there will become a time when we are not."


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Ben Price, city and county councillor for Thorpe Hamlet, said he had been calling for ways to mitigate the situation for months, including deep drain cleans as well as an improved sweeping and a tree management programme. 

Mr Price said: "Beatrice Road starts in a bit of hollow in the middle of the road. When the rain is so intense there is a danger that the road just can't cope with that level of water. 

Ben Price, Green city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet. Pic: Archant Library.

Ben Price, Green city councillor for Thorpe Hamlet. Pic: Archant Library. - Credit: Submitted

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"These events came once every 10 years but now seems to be every summer."

The councillor added that more needed to be done to tackle climate change issues, referring to a motion unanimously passed by the city council three years ago to develop a climate adaptation process.  

Flooding on Beatrice Road in Thorpe Hamlet last year

Flooding on Beatrice Road in Thorpe Hamlet last year. Residents were quick to respond to more severe flooding on Friday - Credit: Justin Goulty

A Norwich City Council spokesperson said: “The council has emergency planning systems in place for various extreme weather events, and we regularly update our risk assessments using UK climate impact projections.

“There are also a number of specific policies around urban drainage within the planning framework.”

Norfolk County Council has been contacted for comment.

Residents use brooms to clear leaves from drains during the flooding at Beatrice Road in Thorpe Hamlet on Friday 

Residents use brooms to clear leaves from drains during the flooding at Beatrice Road in Thorpe Hamlet on Friday - Credit: Justin Goulty

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