WEST NORFOLK: Rain pumps work overtime

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Drainage engineers were working around the clock to stop West Norfolk homes being flooded over the festive period.

Lynn Internal Drainage Board says the recent wet weather highlights the importance of its systems when heavy rains fell in December on to already heavy saturated land.

A total of 34 million cubic metres of rain, which would fill 13,600 Olympic size swimming pools, fell on the area.

The 13 pumping stations dealt with 27 million litres of water every hour, which equates to 10.5 Olympic swimming pools, every hour during the whole of December.

The drainage board looks after 310 miles of watercourse to prevent the area from flooding.

Chief-executive Philip Camamile has praised staff for working flat out to prevent surface water flooding.

He said: “The effect of the rain on an already very wet catchment was immediate, with our operatives having to work 24/7 to keep surface water out of people’s houses over Christmas and New Year.

“Our success as a drainage board is inevitably measured by what does not happen rather than what does happen, which means that if flooding does not occur frequently the value of what we do is sometimes questioned.

“But it is precisely because we continually maintain, improve and watch over the drainage system that we are actually able to reduce the risk of flooding. This has been clearly demonstrated during the recent period of high rainfall, which just so happens to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the 1953 floods. A timely reminder of the vital work that we do for the borough.”

The board has agreed to freeze its service charges for the fourth year in succession. It is planning to increase this freeze for a further two years.