People flee homes as river bursts banks for first time in 50 years

The Captain Mainwaring, on Bridge Street, Thetford, knee deep in the flood water.

The Captain Mainwaring statue on Bridge Street, Thetford, almost knee deep in flood water - Credit: Tim Ball

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes after a river burst its banks for the first time in 50 years.

Flooding in Thetford on Boxing Day.

Flash floods hit Thetford as the River Thet burst its banks for the first time in 50 years - Credit: Melanie Sturman

Families living on dozens of roads in Thetford, Brandon and Hockwold were told to leave on Saturday (December 26) night.

The River Thet breached its bank for the first time in half a century, while water levels on the Little Ouse were rising rapidly. 

Flooding in Thetford on Boxing Day.

Flash floods hit Thetford as the River Thet burst its banks for the first time in 50 years - Credit: Melanie Sturman

Water levels were said to be rising at the Abbey Heath river gauge as a result of heavy rainfall, which is set to continue on Sunday into Monday (December 28).

A warning from the government's flood information service last night encouraged people to move their family, pets and cars to safety, and follow advice from emergency service staff.

Flooding in Thetford on Boxing Day.

Flash floods hit Thetford as the River Thet burst its banks for the first time in 50 years - Credit: Melanie Sturman

Nine flood alerts remained in place across Norfolk on Sunday morning, with the Environment Agency stating that flooding is expected and "immediate action" required.

The agency still expects flooding to affect Primrose Close, The Meadows, Castle Lane, Mill Lane, Old Bury Road, Bridge Street, Riverside Walk, Canon’s Close, Coney Close and Coventry Way in Thetford.

Flooding in Thetford on Boxing Day.

Flash floods hit Thetford as the River Thet burst its banks for the first time in 50 years - Credit: Melanie Sturman


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Teal Walk, High Street and Riverside Way in Brandon, as well as Church Lane in Hockwold, also remain at risk. 

Meanwhile, the water level of the River Thet at Shropham, Snetterton, Bridgham, East Harling and Shadwell is continuing to fall slowly, but remains high following recent rainfall. 

The Captain Mainwaring, on Bridge Street, Thetford.

The Captain Mainwaring, on Bridge Street, Thetford. - Credit: Mel Sturman

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Families there are being advised to move possessions and valuables off the ground or to a place of safety.

Elsewhere, footpaths at the popular Nunnery Lakes beauty spot - situated to the south of Thetford - were left impassable due to flood water. 

Footpaths at Nunnery Lakes, south of Thetford, were left impassable due to flooding

Footpaths at Nunnery Lakes, south of Thetford, were left impassable due to flooding - Credit: Nick Moran

The Environment Agency is expected to continue issuing advice to residents on their best course of action. 

Footpaths at Nunnery Lakes, south of Thetford, were left impassable due to flooding

Footpaths at Nunnery Lakes, south of Thetford, were left impassable due to flooding - Credit: Nick Moran


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