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Hemsby flood prompts Anglian Water apology

PUBLISHED: 11:01 01 April 2011

Postmaster Owen church looking at the debris left behind after Saturday morning's sewage flood at Hemsby Post Office.

Photo: Bill Smith

Postmaster Owen church looking at the debris left behind after Saturday morning's sewage flood at Hemsby Post Office. Photo: Bill Smith

Archant © 2011

WE are very sorry – that’s the response from Anglian Water after a pumping station breakdown caused floods in Hemsby.

Homeowners were left fighting to stop a rising tide of sewage spilling out from drains from encroaching into their front yards after the Yarmouth Road pump was hit with an electrical fault, just before 10.30am that morning.

Among those facing the drain’s outpourings following moderate rain, which included sanitary towels, toilet roll and condoms, was postmaster Owen Church.

Mr Church, 68, has lived at the site of the post office, which lies at the junction between Ormesby Road and Waters Lane, all his life, and has worked there for 47 years.

He described how he returned from Potter Heigham that morning to find that “the manhole covers were overflowing with water outside on Waters Lane which covered the road more or less entirely”.

“It was beginning to back up into my neighbour’s drive, and they were sweeping the water away to get it down the drain.

“You just don’t know how far it will come up,” added Mr Church, who quickly joined in the efforts.

However, although the pumping station was back up and running by 12.45pm, and a representative from Anglian Water attempted to clear up the mess left outside the Post Office shortly after, it was not until Monday that the company sent out someone to clear the site up completely.

Mr Church said the area had flooded for as long as he could recall, but that things had got worse recently and this episode was as bad as any in recent memory.

In reference to an upcoming meeting planned with Anglian Water, he said: “It’s taken a long time to get them to understand how serious it is here, but I think that now they do.”

The floods follow on from previous issues at the pumping station, and a call from Anglian Water for people to refrain from flushing “inappropriate” items down the toilet.

It is the latest in the spate of such problems for villages in the area, and parish councillors have united over addressing the issue.

A spokesman for Anglian Water said: “We are very sorry about this and we are currently running tests to try and work out what caused the problem and prevent it from happening again.

“We understand residents were not happy with the time it took to clear up the flooding and again, we are very sorry for this. There have been issues with the pumps at this station in the past and they will now be replaced.”

“We have also agreed to meet with residents and local councillors in the next few weeks to discuss the situation in Hemsby.”


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