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FLOODS: Fireman on call as own house floods
1:30pm Tuesday 27th August 2013 in Echo News
FIREFIGHTERS told how they spent hour after hour up to their knees in floodwater helping to pump out people’s homes and businesses.
One firefighter even heard over the radio how his own home had been flooded.
Leading Firefighter Paul Jones was at Grove Road, in Rayleigh, for three-and-a-half hours trying to clear flood water.
He said: “We were trying to clear the way so the water could escape into a brook, we even removed fence panels.
“Then, on the radio,I heard another crew went to Vernon Road and my house which was flooded, along with several others!
“The weather was absolute carnage. The drains just couldn’t cope. My wife, Lisa, was at home and said four inches of water came in through the air bricks in the walls and under the door. We only recently redecorated, too.
“After my shift helping others, I had to go back home and clean up there, too.
“We were left with no power and have had dehumidifiers going since. We’ve got wooden floors so it keeps seeping back through every time we mop. They’re mangled. It’s going to take a long time to dry out.”
Crews from across south Essex attended more than 300 calls on Saturday.
Southend crews spent two hours working to find and clear the drains on Chalkwell Esplanade to allow the water to escape.
Mark Petty-Mayor, temporary sub officer, said: “25 properties were affected with water pouring down Chalkwell Avenue.
“We were trying to pump water over the seawall. It wasareal job to know where to pump the water because everywhere was badly affected.
“Once the drains were clear it worked superbly. There was a build up of twigs, leaves and dirt.
“The pumping station was working, the drains had just been overwhelmed. Too much rain fell too quickly. This is the biggest flood I’ve been to. We were warned of the rain, but you can’t predict the ferocity of the flash floods.”
Leigh crews attended numerous calls, including a crash in Eastwoodbury Lane, Eastwood, the Horse and Groom, in Rochford, and to Southend Leisure and Tennis Centre, in Garon Park, which was flooded and had part of its ceiling collapse.
Chris Seal, leading firefighter, said: “It was chaotic, crazy weather.I have never seen anything like it. Usually, we can stay and help people clean up, but we had such a high number of calls we went from one to the next.”
A council spokesman said the sports centre was expected to be fully open today.
She said: “The centre main hall, spin room and upper gym were closed on Monday as a result of weather.We are anticipating all of the centre should be open today.”
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