Clean up underway after flash flooding causes severe disruption

  • ITV Anglia's Dani Crawshaw reports from Wellingborough

Communities across the Anglia region have been clearing up the damage caused by flash flooding over the weekend.

Torrential rain caused major disruption in places like Sheringham and Chelmsford, where over 50mm of rain was recorded in just two hours on Saturday, 15 August.

Wellingborough saw some of the worst conditions, with several businesses flooded as water swept through the town centre.

The business director of Sultan Turkish restaurant said he did not know what the future held, after firefighters spent five hours draining water from the basement.

When asked what they would do going forward Koya Hogor said: "I don’t know yet, we don’t know. It just happened too quick, in ten minutes everything was gone."

At Rutherfords Locksmiths, the weekend was the fourth time their premises has been flooded in the past four decades.

Tim Nolan, director of Rutherfords, said: "Our drains and sewer system in this town has been awful for many years, this is the fourth time its happened to us in thirty years, and each time we have to keep starting again, build up again, it’s very hard work."

  • Watch a report from ITV Anglia's Kate Prout

In Sheringham, people were warned to keep out of the sea as a dark swell of surface run-off made its way into the water.

It was caused by storm drains being unable to cope with the volume of rain, something North Norfolk District Council have now pledged to look at.

Cllr Sarah Bütikofer, leader of the council, said: "Those areas that flooded, the drainage needs seriously looking at. So we'll be talking to our partners and working out how we can improve things for the future."

Anglian Water, which manages the drainage system in the town, said that no sewage made its way into the sea and the water is safe to swim in again.

  • ITV Anglia meteorologist Chris Page explains how much rain the region saw over the weekend

Hourly rainfall amounts in the ITV Anglia region on Sunday 16th August 2020 Credit: ITV Weather

The flooding also brought about some bizarre sights, such as a pair of men who decided to kayak through Chelmsford as the waters rose.

James Walkinton said: "We wanted to...paddle up a residential street. You can see near the beginning of the video we had to give way to a car and it nearly brought us in.

"Every few years the river bursts its banks but I've not seen it come down this quickly."