Freak storms could see town flood again

PUBLISHED: 14:14 26 October 2006 | UPDATED: 21:22 29 May 2010

FLOODING, which caused chaos in Dunmow a year ago, could happen again despite the damaged sewer which caused it being repaired. A heavy downpour on July 6 caused part of the sewer main underneath the junction of North Street and The Downs to collapse, cra

FLOODING, which caused chaos in Dunmow a year ago, could happen again despite the damaged sewer which caused it being repaired.

A heavy downpour on July 6 caused part of the sewer main underneath the junction of North Street and The Downs to collapse, cracking roads and spreading sewage, as the storm drains could not cope with the volume of rain.

And although Anglian Water has undertaken a survey of the sewer, they cannot give an assurance that another violent rainstorm would not cause havoc again.

A spokeswoman for the company said: "We have carried out major remedial work, which included relaying and relining sections of the sewer.

"We've now surveyed the sewer using CCTV and can assure the public that it's operating to full capacity.

"We can't guarantee further flooding won't occur as in times of extreme wet weather conditions this capacity could be exceeded."

She added: "We carried out extensive repairs, approximately three years ago, in the area due to damage of the sewer caused by a gas supplier boring a new gas main in North Street."

On the afternoon of July 6, the water weakened North Street to the point of collapse, before sewage and water got between two layers of tarmac and forced the road's surface to buckle.

When a double-decker bus tried to travel up the road, one of its wheels went straight through the tarmac.

Dunmow Fire Station Officer, Keith Crow, said: "North Street was the worst hit. We tried to pump water and sewage from behind some of the houses, which had gathered and formed a pool about two feet deep.

"The hole where the double-decker went through grew to about six feet wide."

Dunmow town clerk, Owen Wilson, said the council raised people's concerns with the water company and they have the right to complain further.

"We know the flooding could happen again, although obviously it would take a heavy and prolonged period of rain for this to happen," he said.

"Anyone still not happy can come back to me and make their feelings known."

An Essex County Council spokesman said the road had been repaired and reopened as quickly as possible so as to cause minimal disruption.

"The work to reconstruct the section of damaged road was carried out on schedule and North Street was reopened on August 23," she said.

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