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Drama amid torrential downpours

PUBLISHED: 11:24 08 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:13 05 July 2010

Chaos reigned across large parts of Suffolk as torrential rain and gale-force winds battered the region on Friday night.

Heavy downpours caused a tide of sewage to swamp a road in Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, at about 9.

Chaos reigned across large parts of Suffolk as torrential rain and gale-force winds battered the region on Friday night.

Heavy downpours caused a tide of sewage to swamp a road in Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, at about 9.30pm.

At the a same time, a dramatic sea rescue was taking place off Lowestoft in force nine winds and there were reports of a 'mini-tornado' hitting the town's Birds Eye site.

As sewage flowed from a broken pipe into Seavert Close, four-month pregnant Mary Ritchie rushed out to try and stop the waste flooding into her Carlton Colville home.

Thankfully, the waste stopped a few centimetres short of her door.

On Saturday morning, part of the close was still covered in sewage and eight homeowners were unable to leave their properties by car because of the damage to the road.

Six years ago the brickweave road at Seavert Close suffered similar flooding problems because of heavy rain permeating its surface.

Mrs Ritchie, 29, said: “Something needs to be done now about this road to stop this ever happening again.

“One neighbour had an appoint-ment in Papworth Hospital and had to arrange a lift because her car was blocked in.”

The crew of the RNLI all-weather boat, Spirit of Lowestoft, braved force-nine winds to rescue the four-man crew of a stranded German yacht two miles of the coast.

The Arielle's engines had failed after a safety line snagged a propeller and then its GPS navigational system was knocked out.

Disaster was only averted after the Lowestoft lifeboat battled heavy squalls to reach the vessel, which suffered damage to its stern, and tow it to safety.

Richard Musgrove, lifeboat opera-tions manager, said: “These were very unpleasant conditions for the rescue. The coxswain, John Fox, and his crew did an excellent job.”

There were also reports that a lorry and some cars were flipped up into the air by a 'mini-tornado' in the car park at the Birds Eye site at Martins Score. No one at Birds Eye could confirm the incident.

Suffolk police also received about a dozen calls relating to heavy flooding on roads in the Lowestoft, Beccles and Oulton Broad areas between 8.45pm and 10pm on Friday night.

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