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'The town cannot cope' - pleas to upgrade foul-smelling sewage system after flooding chaos

PUBLISHED: 15:09 07 October 2019 | UPDATED: 15:14 07 October 2019

The flooding in Church Lane, Felixstowe. Picture: ELIZABETH BROWN

The flooding in Church Lane, Felixstowe. Picture: ELIZABETH BROWN

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Urgent action is needed to upgrade Felixstowe's drainage system in the wake of chaotic floods which left sewage in people's gardens, it has been said.

The flooding in Church Lane, Felixstowe. Picture: ELIZABETH BROWNThe flooding in Church Lane, Felixstowe. Picture: ELIZABETH BROWN

Heavy rainfall caused areas such as Church Lane and High Road West to be submerged in water after a spell of heavy rainfall, with residents pictured up to their ankles in murky water.

People reported watching helplessly as drains overflowed into streets, driveways and gardens,

But it is not the first time it has happened, with neighbours saying the current sewage system is not fit to deal with the excessive rainfall the town faced over the weekend.

They have urged Anglian Water to take action - although the company said in a statement: "All our sewers and pumps in Felixstowe were working as they should, but they are dealing with the excess rainwater from roads, gardens, and driveways which has come via the overloaded parts of the surface water drainage network."

Amie Laws, 12, standing in floodwater in High Road West, Felixstowe which was closed because of the heavy rainfall Picture: ROSINA LAWSAmie Laws, 12, standing in floodwater in High Road West, Felixstowe which was closed because of the heavy rainfall Picture: ROSINA LAWS

The firm added: "Our teams have been working over the past 24 hours to ensure our equipment is performing as well as possible during the intense rain we're currently experiencing.

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"We work closely with all authorities who have responsibility for drainage, including the lead local flood authority, Suffolk County Council, who is responsible for the road drains in the town, along with the local highways team."

However Kimberley Williams, councillor for Walton ward in the Suffolk coastal town, said: "Anglian Water need to upgrade the sewage infrastructure. I would encourage them to urgently take action.

"The town cannot cope, as clearly demonstrated. We need an immediate response."

Ms Williams said the weekend's flooding was "a combination of bad weather and a failing sewage system".

Mike Deacon, district councillor for Western Felixstowe ward and town councillor for Walton ward, said: "It was a mess. I felt dreadfully sorry for the residents.

"Unfortunately, it isn't the first time it's happened. It was truly awful.

"With climate change and the weather we're now experiencing, we're going to see this more and more often."

■ Have you been affected by flooding problems in Felixstowe? Email here.

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