'Welcome sign' - Town's relief as flood water begins to subside

Captain Mainwaring statue off Bridge Street was surrounded by water. 

Captain Mainwaring statue off Bridge Street was surrounded by water. - Credit: Terry Jermy

A Norfolk town has welcomed the subsiding of flood water following heavy rainfall which left parts of the area submerged.

Thetford saw its worst flooding in decades as hundreds of homes were evacuated on Saturday, December 26 after the River Thet broke its bank.

Pictures of flooding in Thetford's town centre on Sunday. 

Pictures of flooding in Thetford's town centre on Sunday. - Credit: Terry Jermy

On Monday the town was still dealing with the aftermath and a flood warning remains in place for the Little Ouse River and River Thet at Thetford, Brandon and Hockwold. 

And the Environment Agency has said that no further significant rainfall is expected but river levels are expected to remain high over the next few days.

Pictures of flooding in Thetford's town centre on Sunday. 

Pictures of flooding in Thetford's town centre on Sunday. - Credit: Terry Jermy

Thetford Garden Centre was among those affected by the flooding and the community came together to help protect the store.


You may also want to watch:


Manager Marie Turner said today's scenes are a stark contrast to a few days ago, which saw water covering the car park and entering into the store's lobby.

Pictures of flooding in Thetford's town centre on Sunday. 

Pictures of flooding in Thetford's town centre on Sunday. - Credit: Terry Jermy

She said: "The water levels have gone down, so the car park is pretty clear, there's standing water and puddles on the grass area. 

Most Read

"The little dykes which run alongside us are very high so I don't think it would take too much more rain so that they flood over but the car park and store are water free at the moment.

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre.

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

"If there's anymore rain, with the ground saturated, I don't think it would take much more to cause more flooding for us.

"It just happened so quickly, it was raining all day. It started coming in from the lobby at the front, the car park levels kept rising and it was coming down off the fields in front of us.

Heavy rain caused flooding at Thetford Garden Centre.

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

"It just shows the power water has, we were putting stones and compost out to try and form a barrier and they were floating away, the force of the water was quite incredible to see firsthand.

"But we were quite lucky we had a lot of help from the community, they rallied round and we managed to get some pumps down here and pump water away. 

Scenes at Thetford Garden Centre today following flooding. 

Scenes at Thetford Garden Centre today following flooding. - Credit: Marie Turner

"They're just two completely different days, you wouldn't have thought we were knee deep in water three or four days ago."

Scenes at Thetford Garden Centre today following flooding. 

Scenes at Thetford Garden Centre today following flooding. - Credit: Marie Turner

But water still remains in the town centre and the Captain Mainwaring statue was notably up to its knees in water at one stage.

Terry Jermy, Norfolk county councillor for Thetford, has lived in the town all his life and said the flooding has been the worst that he can remember.

Scenes at Thetford Garden Centre today following flooding. 

Scenes at Thetford Garden Centre today following flooding. - Credit: Marie Turner

He added: "It looks as if the flood waters are going down a little bit at the moment which is a welcome sign, it's certainly not got worse overnight but better.

"It is still very prevalent, particularly in the town centre which is the real surprise around Butten Island, well there is no Butten Island, basically you can't see any land.

Scenes at Thetford Garden Centre today following flooding. 

Scenes at Thetford Garden Centre today following flooding. - Credit: Marie Turner

"Fortunately the Captain Mainwaring side of the road is still useable but there's lots of traffic changes in town, but at the moment things are relatively quiet.

"We are very lucky to live in Thetford to have the river running through it, it's something a lot of people in Thetford feel really passionate about, it's a popular walking route but it does come with risks and that's been proven over the last few days, fortunately it doesn't happen on a regular basis but there is always the risk of flooding.

"My sister lives on one of the streets that had to evacuated on Boxing Day, so I was helping her move valuables upstairs and it was worrying, after all of the stress and strain over the last few months,  the flooding was something we did not anticipate."

The councillor said he was concerned about the lack of sandbags that were available during the flooding after residents were trying to protect their houses following the Boxing Day warning.

And he added: "The last couple of days there hasn't been too much rainfall which is a good sign, so we wait now for nature to run it's course.

"Fortunately I don't think there was too many households that were flooded, I saw a few that had water up to the door but not on the scale we thought it might be, which is a welcomed sigh of relief."


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
Comments powered by Disqus