‘Never seen anything like it’ – Heavy rain floods roads in Letchworth, Hitchin, Stotfold and more

PUBLISHED: 10:16 13 June 2016 | UPDATED: 09:39 14 June 2016

Flooding in Stotfold on Sunday after the Brook overflowed into Coppice Mead and Brook Street. Photo: Justin Parkin

Flooding in Stotfold on Sunday after the Brook overflowed into Coppice Mead and Brook Street. Photo: Justin Parkin

Archant

Heavy rain yesterday caused roads to flood in Letchworth, Hitchin, Stotfold and elsewhere - and a cherished community centre has been hit by sewage coming up through the drains.

The Howard Garden Social and Day Care Centre in Letchworth was forced to close for four months last year following flash flooding, and barriers installed afterwards limited the damage done this time – but raw sewage has still come up through the gents’ toilets and the kitchen drain.

Tony Page, the treasurer at the centre in Norton Way South, told the Comet they would close today to clean up, but hoped to open again by tomorrow.

Ben Halnan, who filmed some of the flooding in Letchworth, tweeted: “Never seen anything like it.”

The rain also caused Letchworth’s outdoor swimming pool to overflow.

Councillor Jane Gray, responsible for the leisure portfolio at North Hertfordshire District Council, said: “As a result of the excessive rain fall and flooding yesterday Letchworth Outdoor Pool, the play area on Norton Common and the paddling pool and play area in Howard Park and Gardens have been temporarily closed.

“Some of the rainwater is expected to drain naturally and we have already pumped a large amount of surface ground water from the outdoor pool area. However, the outdoor pool and water splash park and paddling pool need to be drained, cleaned and refilled which will take some time. The safety of the public is paramount to us and in order to thoroughly clean the areas, they will remain closed to the public until further notice.”

Kevin Carrol, Ringway divisional manager, said: “Over the weekend we experienced some very heavy downpours of rain, especially between 6pm and 10pm yesterday. North Herts suffered particularly heavily, especially in the Hitchin and Letchworth area.

“We received 19 reports of carriageway flooding over the weekend but more than 70 reports in total from the public concerning damage and disruption to the roads across Hertfordshire.

“Most reports related to the drainage system being overwhelmed with the volume of water and manhole covers being pushed up.

“Roads that are currently closed due to the damage the flooding caused to the road surface are Spring Road in Letchworth and Bearton Road in Hitchin, which have been closed for further investigation work.

“This has alleviated the immediate hazard but further investigation work is being carried out as to the exact cause and what needs to be done to open the road again.”

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