Norwich flood report: Work on drains vital

Flooded road in Hellesdon by Lynsey Hannant Image copyright Lynsey Hannant
Image caption A car struggled to make it through flood water in Hellesdon

A report into the floods which hit Norwich last summer has found that a lack of maintenance was partly to blame.

From late May to early October last year 80 properties were flooded in Norwich.

Rain was particularly heavy on 27 May and 20 July, the Norfolk County Council report says.

The report calls for Norwich City Council, the county council and Anglian Water to prioritise repair of drains.

Image caption A car wheel jammed in a drain where the manhole cover had been lifted by flood water

The flooding hit a number of areas of the city including Hellesdon, North Walsham Road, Orchard Close, Allen's Lane, Oak Lane , Furze Road, Plumstead Road, George Pope Road, Mousehold Avenue and Hall Road.

It says the estimated cost to repair the damage to the 51 residential buildings comes to more than £1.5m.

The other 29 properties hit by the flooding were either commercial or public buildings.

The report says it is difficult to estimate the cost to all the businesses of the flooding, but said one business faced costs of more than £540,000 due to loss of trade and damage to its property.

Image copyright Stacey Connerty
Image caption Residents of Hawthorne Avenue in Hellesdon struggled to to clear the drains

The rain on 20 July was described as a 1 in 121-year event.

The report says one of the reasons for the flooding was "a lack of regular maintenance of drainage systems in the Norwich urban area".

It says the reason for this is "in part related to insufficient resources being allocated to regularly maintain drainage systems".

There are also a number of properties built in "close proximity to historic watercourses" while other areas have lost historic ponds which helped prevent flooding.

The report says additional funding may be needed to increase the amount of maintenance in key areas.

Toby Coke, chairman of Norfolk County Council's environment committee, said: "Some improvements to drainage systems have already taken place or are planned, but other measures will require investment from the government, which we will be urgently pressing for."

Image caption Flood water in Carrow Road, Norwich, threatened to reach housing

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