West Norfolk hit by flash floods after weekend downpours

Flooding on the B1153 at East Walton, the road runs from Gayton to Narborough ANL-141008-094943009
Flooding on the B1153 at East Walton, the road runs from Gayton to Narborough ANL-141008-094943009
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Residents and traders have been left to clear up the mess after torrential rain brought flash floods to many parts of West Norfolk.

The Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service said it received more than 160 flood-related calls during the weekend, with around half of those being made on Friday evening alone.

And council chiefs yesterday called for people affected by the bad weather to share their experiences, in order to help them plan for similar events in the future.

Heavy rain spread into West Norfolk from the south on Friday afternoon, with the first flooding incident being reported shortly after 5pm.

Between then and 9am on Saturday, a total of 120 incidents were reported, from Emneth to Necton.

Fire officers, who described the night as “manic”, reported that the water was up to four feet deep in places.

The Downham area was one of the worst hit, though staff and diners at the Arbuckles restaurant on the A10 carried on as normal, despite the weather.

Owner John Murphy said around 500 diners had been expected, adding: “We could not disappoint them by closing.

“We have a disaster plan that we put in place and management and staff handled the situation very well, meaning customers inside were unaffected.”

Although some water did get into the lobby, the premises continued to trade as normal throughout the weekend.

Elsewhere, three homes on South Green, Terrington St Clement had water pumped out, while flooding was also reported in Swaffham, Beachamwell, East Walton, East Winch, Marshland St James, Outwell and Upwell.

Many of the worst affected areas are in the constituency of the new environment secretary, and South West Norfolk MP, Elizabeth Truss.

She said: “Flooding in homes and businesses is very distressing for all concerned.

“In my capacity as the local MP I will ensure all assistance that is available is given to local residents.”

Meanwhile, Norfolk County Council, which co-ordinates flood risk management work, has called for people affected by the flooding to share pictures and videos of the weekend’s events with them to help prevent similar events in future.

A spokesman said yesterday: “This material will help us to better understand the cause and effects of flooding, and to develop proposals for measures to reduce the likelihood of it happening again.”

Pictures and videos can be emailed to water.
management@norfolk.gov.uk, uploaded to www.facebook.com/NorfolkFlooding or tweeted to @NorfolkFlooding.