Residents in East Street, whose homes and businesses are consistently being flooded by rain water, are still waiting for Highways technicians to arrive with specialist camera equipment, to determine the problem. Flooding caused by blocked drains and gullys made headline news in August, when Crewkerne Town Council considered requesting the use of South Somerset District Council’s gully cleaning machine at a meeting of the Planning & Highways committee. Councillors made the decision to contact Somerset County Council first, as a matter of urgency.
At this month’s meeting of Crewkerne Town Council, Steven Paine whose wife Josephine is the proprietor of Milly’s Antiques in East Street, confirmed that a Highways team had visited with a vertical drop shortly after the town council’s intervention and on the same day that the flooding problem made news headlines. They had subsequently jetted the drains in the road, up to the junction with Wyvern Lane, but had been unable to clear the blockage in the worst affected drain as they believed it was close to a mains gas pipe and needed further investigation with specialist camera equipment.
Worried residents were assured that the Highways technicians would return with the camera to determine what was causing the blockage and its exact proximity to the underground pipe. The drain in the centre of the road has been named the ‘Crewkerne Geyser’ by residents, as it pumps out water to about 1 ft high which causes a deluge down through East Street.
Mr Paine said: “It is now October and we are still waiting. Last Thursday’s horrendous downpour meant that homes and businesses were once again flooded through their front doors. This situation is frustrating and apparently Highways only have one specialist camera for the whole of the county of Somerset. I also wonder what will happen after the CCTV report. I reckon we have at least another six or more floods in store this year and question whether it is likely that the flooding problem will be resolved by Christmas.”
The overflow of rain water in the road has made many residents fearful of stepping out of their front doors, as they are persistently being soaked by the ‘splash up’ from passing vehicles. Town councillors agreed to do their best to alleviate the situation and a letter of concern will be sent to Highways to reaffirm the urgency that the flooding problem be addressed sooner than later. In the meantime residents in East Street will be stocking up with more sandbags and are dreading the next time that it rains for a prolonged period.