August 9, 2014
Burnham shops demand action after rain storm causes flood damage

Torrential rain in Burnham-On-Sea earlier this week has cost businesses thousands of pounds with many calling for improved maintenance of drains in the town centre.

Several inches of torrential rain fell in a short space of time last Tuesday (August 5th) as we reported here, causing flooding in several shops and businesses.

The YMCA charity shop on Burnham High Street remains closed (as pictured above) after suffering flooding. It is closed while repairs to its floors are undertaken.

The 99p store next door in the High Street also suffered costly damage after a deluge of water came in from the pavements outside, although industrial driers and dehumidifiers provided by Wessex Water have enabled it to remain open.

Manager Julie Simmons told "The drains in the town centre need a proper clean to avoid this happening again. We had several inches of water come into the shop for a second year running - the same thing happened in a storm last August - so there is a real problem here."

Nick Tolley, who runs a photography shop in nearby Abingdon Street, also saw his studio flooded. He told "Many of the drains in the town centre have been blocked and not properly cleaned for years, so they were unable to handle the volume of rain water."

"We want to see proper cleaning of the street drains carried out frequently, but neither Somerset County Council mor Wessex Water seem to be taking responsibility for this despite several days of telephone calls from myself and other businesses."

A Somerset County Council spokesman said on Friday: "We received several calls about localised flooding this week due to extreme heavy rainfall over a very short period of time. We have inspected the site around Lynton Road and the High Street and believe the capacity of the highway drainage was exceeded for a short time due to the intensity of the rainfall."

"The gullies have been checked and are clear and we will arrange for the pipes to be jetted to ensure any silt or debris is washed through."

A Wessex Water spokesman added: "There were a couple of properties that were flooded in the High Street area of Burnham this week. We visited the properties affected and helped with the clean up. We are investigating the cause of the flooding."

Burnham Chamber of Trade says it supports the traders' calls for drainage cleaning improvements in the town centre and is also taking up the matter.

Pictured: Flooding in the town centre this week (photos: Andrew Sargent and Nick Tolley)

A drain blocked with leaves in Burnham's Abingdon Street

Burnham's YMCA charity shop is still closed after this week's rain caused flooding


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