'They saved us': Garden centre owner thanks community for saving store from flooding

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre.

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre. - Credit: Thetford Garden Centre

The owner of a garden centre has thanked the community, after a call for help saw residents and businesses pull together to save the store from flooding.  

After parts of Norfolk saw a month’s worth of rainfall in 24 hours, Thetford Garden Centre was among the worst hit as staff tried desperately to stop water from coming into the store. 

But unable to find help as fire services received more than 300 calls on Wednesday night, owner Lucy Nixon took to Facebook to ask residents if they could lend a hand. 

She said: “I was at home and the general manager sent me a video at about 7pm last night and it just got rapidly worse. 

“The team were continuingly sweeping the water away trying to keep it from going into the store.  

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre.

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre. - Credit: Thetford Garden Centre

“We were phoning anyone and everyone, insurance companies, fire bridge, anyone who might have a pump, but everyone was out dealing with incidents elsewhere. 

“I put the post on the forum and after that people kept turning up to help, which was amazing. 

Most Read

“We gave them buckets, brooms and mops. I found a firm in Great Yarmouth who did an emergency call out with a pump and a local farmer even turned up with a tractor and a pump. 

“The water level went down so quickly when the pumps were there and today the water is gone and the store opened at 9am as usual.  

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre.

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre. - Credit: Thetford Garden Centre

“We are so grateful. If those people didn’t turn up the whole thing would have been flooded. They saved our store.” 

The flooding came just after the government announcement that Norfolk would be heading into Tier 4 on Boxing Day.  

After today, the garden centre will be closed until December 27 but its restaurant, the Lime Kiln Kitchen, will remain closed until further notice.

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre.

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre. - Credit: Thetford Garden Centre

Mrs Nixon added: “We are really lucky we can be open today. The pumps were left running over night and it's all fine.

"We have been clearing up the mess that did come in and water around the till area, but damage-wise fingers crossed we are okay. 

“What a year, you couldn’t make it up could you. When we can, we are going to do something to thank everyone."

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre.

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre. - Credit: Thetford Garden Centre


Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter