Floods hit again

PUBLISHED: 12:21 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 15:51 11 May 2010

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FIRE-FIGHTERS were called out six times in the space of 90 minutes on Thursday after torrential rainfall caused widespread flooding in Royston. Fire crews were first called to a house in Newmarket Road at 6.44pm and used pumping equipment to drain flood w

FIRE-FIGHTERS were called out six times in the space of 90 minutes on Thursday after torrential rainfall caused widespread flooding in Royston.

Fire crews were first called to a house in Newmarket Road at 6.44pm and used pumping equipment to drain flood water.

Call-outs then followed to properties in Morton Street, Corvus Close, Chaucer Road and Isherwood Close.

The final call of the evening, to a house in Mill Road, came at 8.05pm.

Terry Dear, who lives in Isherwood Close, said: "It was touch and go to stop a lot of people being flooded."

The rainfall was so heavy that, in places, Burns Road was completely submerged.

A spokesman for Herts Fire and Rescue Service said that nobody was injured and, with each call-out, fire-fighters were able to pump the flood water away.

Anglian Water said that they were investigating the cause of the flooding but believe that it was caused by a blockage of fats, oils and greases (FOG) in one of the sewers in the Burns Road estate.

This is the second time in the space of a month that the estate has been flooded.

On July 7, more than a dozen homes suffered flood damage after heavy rainfall caused a sewer to burst in Jeffrey Close.

Anglian Water also blamed FOG for this flooding, but Mr Dear believes that poor maintenance of the sewers is responsible.

"I have lived in the area for over thirty years and have not seen tankers cleaning out the sewers in that time," he said.

"The only time drainage was thoroughly looked at was two years ago, the last time people were flooded."

He added: "The council and water company need to protect the houses that always seem to be most at risk and have to cope with these events and fix the problem permanently by putting the right amount of investment into the sewage and drainage system.

"It is time for these authorities to stop arguing and act rather than leaving people to worry and suffer due to their dithering and incompetence."

A spokesman for Anglian Water said: "Fats, oils and greases can build up or get flushed through the system if there has been any kind of rainfall and cause a blockage.

"Our investigations will continue with our FOG team to try and see where it is all coming from.

"The usual sources are food outlets and we have been out in the region working quite hard to try and reduce the likelihood of this happening.

"It has been a growing problem and you can mark the increase in the problem with the increase in the number of restaurants and fast food outlets across the whole of the UK.

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