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Pregnant woman's flooding fears

PUBLISHED: 12:21 09 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:14 05 July 2010

Mary Ritchie inspecting the flooding damage outside her home.
Picture: Nick Butcher.

Mary Ritchie inspecting the flooding damage outside her home. Picture: Nick Butcher.

A pregnant mum says she and her family may be forced to move house unless water officials take action to tackle flooding that has hit her street again.

A pregnant mum says she and her family may be forced to move house unless water officials take action to tackle flooding that has hit her street again.

Mary Ritchie was left counting the cost after torrential rain led to flooding in Seavert Close, Carlton Colville, near Lowestoft, on Friday evening.

Sewage flooded her garage, causing damage estimated at £10,000, and narrowly avoided getting into her home. Eight residents were also unable to leave their properties by car because of road damage caused by the flooding.

Mrs Ritchie, 29, said the road and her home suffered similar flooding in 2002 and called on Anglian Water to carry out work to ensure its sewerage system was able to deal with heavy rain.

She added: “I just can't cope with this any more. This needs to be sorted out because the pipes can't cope with the rain. We will just have to resign ourselves to the fact that we will be flooded every time there is heavy rain.

“We'll have to look at moving because I can't cope with the fact that we are going to be flooded every time there is torrential rain.

“I'm thinking about not paying my rates to Anglian Water until they sit up and listen. I'm going to speak to my MP Bob Blizzard. The residents are going to take it all the way and, if we have to, we'll write to the prime minister to get something done.”

Mrs Ritchie said furniture, prams and DJ equipment belonging to her husband were among valuables wrecked by the flooding.

Her anger heightened yesterday when an official visited to help with the clean-up operation, but left after Mrs Ritchie refused to move damaged items from her garage.

“They were supposed to come here and clean up the garage and dispose of the items covered in sewage, but hey wanted someone who was four months pregnant to move the stuff out,” she added.

Householders were also forced to carry out their own work to make the road safe to drive on because highways' officials from Suffolk County Council did not arrive until yesterday to carry out the work,

“We've had no help or support at all and it is absolutely disgusting,” added Mrs Ritchie, who lives with her husband Mark and two-year-old daughter Emma.

A Suffolk County Council spokesman said: “Seavert Close was fully assessed on Saturday morning in order to determine what work was needed to make the effected area safe and usable for residents.

“The underlying problem is a surcharging sewer which had caused the block weave road to lift in various places. At the present time, the site has now been made fully safe and we are working closely with Anglian Water to prevent a similar incident occurring in the future.”

A spokesman for Anglian Water said staff were required to deal with a number of call-outs and had to prioritise those people who were at a higher risk of flooding in their homes.

“It was unfortunate we were unable to give all the attention we would have liked,” she added.

The spokesman said a manager would visit Mrs Ritchie to discuss the flooding problems in more detail.

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