Deeping St Nicholas families caught up in flash flood
A little boy recovering from brain tumour surgery had to be carried into the family home by his mum moments before their drive was completely submerged by a flash flood.
Parents Karen and Steve Taylor daren’t risk Kieran (6) slipping over on their driveway as rain hammered down in Harrow Road, Deeping St Nicholas. So Karen scooped him up in her arms and carried him from the family car to the safety of the house a few feet away.
Karen said: “I couldn’t let him walk.
“We have got to be careful that he doesn’t fall over and bang his head.”
Neighbour Simon Hill (48) dug a drainage trench so water flowing “like a river” through his garden could escape into a ditch.
Simon said: “We were within half-an-inch of it coming into the house. It was worrying more than frightening.
“You don’t want water to be in your house.”
He measured the results of the deluge and nearly three-and-a-half inches of rainwater collected in an empty paddling pool in 45 minutes, which was double the average monthly rainfall.
Steve Taylor (54) set to work with a broom to brush water away from his house.
It’s the first time the Taylors can remember a flash flood filling the road and gardens up to four inches deep, although they say problems with drainage on the former council estate have led to the road suffering partial flooding two or three times a year – and the district council has failed to act.
Karen and Steve have owned their own home there since 1998.
Karen said there are drains in the street, but the family pay water and sewerage bills to the district council, not Anglian Water, and the council did nothing to stop the flooding when they complained in the past.
“They just seem to fob us off all of the time,” she said.
Karen said the council has previously blamed flooding on tree roots preventing rain water from properly draining away from the street.
The family returned home at about 3.45pm after collecting daughter Caitlin (8) from St John’s Primary School in Spalding.
“It was absolutely chucking it down with rain,” said Karen. “We couldn’t get to our door without getting absolutely soaking wet and then, within about ten minutes, our drive was absolutely flooded. It was coming up to our front door.”
Organic farmer and weather watcher Nicholas Watts, who is based at Deeping St Nicholas, said: “We didn’t quite get two inches but there were two reports of three inches of rain further up the village, which is double the monthly average.
“I can’t remember the last time we had fire engines in Deeping St Nicholas pumping out.”
A council spokesman said: “As soon as we were made aware of flooding in Coronation Avenue and Chappell Road, officers attended the scene to assist residents and the emergency services where possible.
“In terms of flooding in Harrow Road, the site is served by a sewage treatment works which is designed to cope with heavy flows, but the amount of rainfall on Friday in a very short space of time was exceptional.
“The council’s drainage contractor has checked the plant and confirmed it is operating correctly. We are not aware of any issues other than the sheer volume of rainwater having caused any flooding-related issues in the area.
“Any residents with ongoing concerns can contact us on 01775 761161.”
• Kieran also goes to St John’s and returned only last week, just for two hours each morning, as he fights his way to fitness.
Karen (45) said Kieran had a tumour removed at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, on May 12 and had two lots of associated surgery within a few days.
She has taken time off work to look after him.
The family faces an anxious wait with an assessment due on June 24 to check Kieran’s eyesight.
Karen said: “We have got to wait to see because the tumour was pressing on his optic nerve for quite some time. They think he may have had it from birth.
“The only thing he is struggling with is trying to climb the stairs because he has got a little bit of weakness in his left leg.”
The tumour was found after Kieran’s eyesight deteriorated and he went to hospital for a head screen.
Karen says doctors are sure that it is Kieran’s character that has helped him recover so quickly.
“He likes to ask questions,” said Karen. “He is quite a cheeky chappie. He is mischievous but he is not naughty. He does something and then he gets a grin across his face as if (he’s asking) ‘am I going to get away with it’?”