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Sussex homes still hit by summer flood
6:30pm Friday 14th December 2012 in News
People are still waiting to get back into their homes following the floods this summer.
A report into the flooding in June across West Sussex revealed some victims are still unable to go back home following the devastation caused by the deluge.
Drainage systems were overwhelmed in June when five times as much rain as usual fell in the area from Bognor to Chichester.
It meant 780 properties in total were affected by the flooding from June 10 to 12, in a storm the like of which occurs on average once every 200 years.
While the report indicates the majority of problems stemmed from a loss of drainage and not sewerage systems, it suggests the Southern Water treatment works in Worthing may have itself caused further flooding.
It said: “The problem could have been exacerbated due to periodic operational failure at the Worthing Treatment Works.
“The impact of this was minimised as a Southern Water team was on site throughout the storm event to unblock pumps when required to ensure that the system was operating to maximum effect.”
West Sussex County Council leader Louise Goldsmith said: “Essentially it was just the sheer scale of unprecedented torrential rain that overwhelmed some of the systems maintained by the various agencies. This once in 200 years event stretched our infrastructure and the emergency services to the very limit.
“I want to reassure people that all the agencies involved will not let the focus on drainage issues slip, and are working together to ensure that we do as much as we can to protect homes and businesses.
“The events of June were a very traumatic time for a large number of people, some of whom are still unable to return to their homes, and that is a key reason for this in-depth report.”
Recommendations from the report included funding of repair and improvement at locations in the flood investigation for which the county council are responsible.
The report also calls for more landowners to take responsibility for drainage.
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