People 'swam in the sewage' as firms were flooded

Children and adults were enjoying the floodwater despite the sewage and sanitary waste which washed up on Cannerby Lane 

Children and adults were enjoying the floodwater despite the sewage and sanitary waste which washed up on Cannerby Lane - Credit: Lisa Barker

A domestic abuse charity and hair salon have spoken about raw sewage seeping through their doors after severe flooding. 

Dawn's New Horizon and Aspire Hair were among the businesses affected as Cannerby Lane in Sprowston was flooded in the torrential downpour on Friday afternoon. 

Two customers stayed in the salon to help Aspire Hair staff clear the water with buckets and mops as staff worked until 8pm in response to the flooding.

As a gesture of appreciation, the two customers were invited back for a free haircut the following day as the salon reopened. 

Michelle Garrod, salon owner, said: "We are lucky the water did not touch the electrics. We mopped out all the muck and toilet tissue which was flooding in. It was disgusting." 

The community also rallied around to help the Dawn's New Horizon charity shop where some appointments had to be cancelled due to the flooding. 


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A dehumidifier and industrial cleaner were among the pieces of equipment being offered for the clean-up. 

Lorraine Curston, founder, said: "We had a lot of raw sewage come into the shop and it just seeped in through the door.

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"It came in halfway through the shop and it was very, very difficult to clean the carpet. 

"All the children were swimming in the sewage and adults were doing it as well, thinking it was funny." 

Lorraine Curston, founder of Dawn's New Horizon domestic abuse support group, outside its charity shop in Sprowston.

Lorraine Curston, founder of Dawn's New Horizon domestic abuse support group, outside its charity shop on Cannerby Lane, Sprowston, in April 2021. - Credit: Sophie Wyllie

Mrs Curston described it as "heart-breaking" having to turn away food parcels and appointments, but the shop was able to reopen on Monday.

Sprowston district councillor Natasha Harpley contacted Anglian Water about the flooding and said it was an ongoing issue to clear the gullies and drains. 

Natasha Harpley,district councillor for Sprowston, Pic: Labour Party.

Sprowston councillor Natasha Harpley - Credit: Labour Party

Town mayor and county councillor John Ward contacted a highways engineer who told him the flood and water management team was investigating all flooded areas, with Cannerby Lane on the list.

An Anglian Water spokesman said: “We are aware that our pumping station saw an increase in flows on Friday afternoon due to extreme rainfall in Sprowston.  

"Anglian Water does not own the surface water system on Cannerby Lane, and all of our assets in the surrounding area were working as they should during this time.

"Surface water flooding like this, is a bit like a bath plughole and it takes time for the water to drain away.”  

A spokesperson from Norfolk County Council said: “Last Friday saw an exceptional amount of rainfall in a very short space of time that led to several incidents of flash flooding.

"In these extreme instances, surface water can begin to build up on hard surfaces where the drainage system has reached its capacity. We will be visiting the site to ensure there are no blockages that would prevent the system from functioning properly.”

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