Freethorpe villagers fed up with road flooding

Flooding at the junction of Palmer's Lane and The Green in Freethorpe. Picture sent in by Jo Stone,

Flooding at the junction of Palmer's Lane and The Green in Freethorpe. Picture sent in by Jo Stone, postmistress. - Credit: Archant

Heavy rain caused flooding in the village of Freethorpe this week, leading to a promise that further investigations will be carried out.

Jo Stone, postmaster at Freethorpe post office, watched on yesterday morning (Thursday) as the junction of Palmer’s Lane and The Green disappeared under water. The road was just passable to cars, but still caused problems.

Ms Stone saw one woman with her two children resort to putting one child in a pushchair and another on her back before wading through the water.

“Every time we get heavy rain, the road floods,” said Ms Stone. “They send a truck to pump it out. But a few hours later, even if there hasn’t been anymore rain, the flood water is back again.

“There is clearly nowhere for the water to go.

“Some people said the drains were blocked when new houses were built on Sutton Crescent four years ago, but the firm behind that development doesn’t exist anymore so they aren’t going to be interested in fixing it.”

This is the third time this year the junction has flooded and again Norfolk County Council sent workers to pump the water out.

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When it flooded on February 7, staff from the council’s highways department arrived at 1.30pm. Ms Stone has been told they removed “34 lorry loads” of liquid. But by 5pm, the road was impassable again.

While cars were able to drive through yesterday morning, not everyone was prepared to take a risk.

“The postman had to go right around because he didn’t want to risk going through the water with the van,” said Ms Stone.

A spokesman for the county council said it was aware of problems, describing the junction as a “trouble spot”.

“We sent a tanker a down to remove the water again, but in the long term we are looking at inspecting the drainage system to find out why its not working.”

The council needs to access a chamber on private land to carry out that investigation.

As well as heavily saturated ground that all towns and villages at risk of flooding are having to contend with, another factor is man power.

The council spokesman said: “During the cold weather work to clear the grates that take water away from the road has been delayed because the people who carry out that work are also the people who drive the gritters. The snow plough doesn’t help either – it tends to block the ditches.”