Spalding residents: please stop our flash floods hell

The scene in Chaucers Way at midday on Thursday when the road was still closed. SG180517-101TW
The scene in Chaucers Way at midday on Thursday when the road was still closed. SG180517-101TW
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Firefighters spent four hours pumping away flash floodwater that threatened to surge into at least two homes in Chaucer’s Way, Spalding.

Resident Paula Degg was advised to call 999 by Lincolnshire County Council highways as water lapped against her front doorstep.

Floodwater in Chaucer's Way, Spalding, overnight on May 17-18. Photo courtesy @SpaldingFire

Floodwater in Chaucer's Way, Spalding, overnight on May 17-18. Photo courtesy @SpaldingFire

Paula says the sewage-contaminated water had already gone into her garage as it has many times in the past.

Residents say Chaucer’s Way floods three or four times a year because inadequate drains can’t cope with heavy or prolonged rain.

Paula said: “It’s an ongoing problem that’s been going on for years and nobody wants to fix it.”

She says the street smelled like an open sewer on Wednesday night but Anglian Water and county highways keep fobbing her off.

We have been complaining about this for years and nobody wants to do anything. If we wanted to move, we could never sell the house.

Paula Degg

Paula said during one “investigation”, county highways said the drains needed replacing but there was no cash to do the job.

Floodwater was about 1ft deep on a 50 yard stretch of the road and a Spalding fire crew was on the scene from 9pm on Wednesday to 1am on Thursday pumping water along a hose system to a field on Pennygate.

Paula says the flash floods have been getting worse since 2006 and her garage has flooded so many times that she keeps everything in plastic boxes and the chest freezer raised up on a wooden pallet.

“I think I am going to have to put it another pallet higher after this,” said Paula. “We have been complaining about this for years and nobody wants to do anything. If we wanted to move, we could never sell the house.”

A fire engine on the scene of the flash flood. Photo courtesy @SpaldingFire

A fire engine on the scene of the flash flood. Photo courtesy @SpaldingFire

Neighbour Nita Jefford said: “If they hadn’t pumped it out, I don’t know what would have happened.”

A county council spokesman said: “There has been flooding on Chaucer’s Way in the past, but it has always been limited to the road and gardens. There have never been any reports of properties being flooded, and therefore any works to the drainage systems have not been classed as a priority.

“Following the incident attended by Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue on Thursday night, the drains will be cleaned and we will consider whether further investigation is needed.”

Anglian Water told us: “We know flooding can be an upsetting experience and during heavy rainfall we have extra teams on the ground helping customers wherever possible.

Nita Jefford and dog Sam after the floowater receded. SG189517-102TW

Nita Jefford and dog Sam after the floowater receded. SG189517-102TW

“We will be investigating the after-effects of the heavy rainfall with our drainage partners, including the local council and highways teams, to understand what may have contributed to the localised surface water flooding in Chaucer’s Way, Spalding – bar heavy rain.

“If customers have been affected by flooding we would urge them to contact us so we can investigate and provide any help or advice.”

The district council is responsible for environmental health but a spokesman said they wouldn’t get involved as they have no control over the sewer or drains.

• Email your view to lynne.harrison@iliffepublishing.co.uk