Pub panic as 3ft of wa­ter floods cel­lar

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page - by Michael DeFroand mde­froand@thek­m­group.co.uk

A LAND­LORD is count­ing the cost of the tor­ren­tial rain­fall af­ter the cel­lar of his pub ended up un­der 3ft of wa­ter.

Colin Gould is fac­ing a hefty bill af­ter the flood­ing cut off the electrics of his Crown pub in St Michael’s near Ten­ter­den.

But de­spite the flood­ing, a clean-up op­er­a­tion means the pub will still be a cen­tral point when Ten­ter­den mayor Alan Sug­den turns on the St Michael’s Christ­mas lights tonight (Thurs­day).

Fire­fight­ers pumped the wa­ter away af­ter the pub flood­ing, one of many prob­lems to hit the area af­ter tor­ren­tial down­pours over the week­end and again on Mon­day.

Nav­i­gat­ing the A28 from Ash­ford to Ten­ter­den be­came a treach­er­ous or­deal for mo­torists as fierce rain led to po­ten­tially danger­ous floods.

For Mr Gould, Mon­day morn­ing proved to be a rude awak­en­ing.

He said: “I woke and the cel­lar was 3ft deep in hor­ri­ble wa­ter. The rush of wa­ter was so much that the sump pump couldn’t cope with it. It knocked off the electrics be­cause there is a cool­ing unit down there and the wa­ter got in. The wa­ter rose by an inch in 10 min­utes so I phoned for help.”

Mr Gould could have been faced with a bill from Kent Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice – £30 for an in­spec­tor to come out and £129 an hour to pump the wa­ter away.

But he said: “Be­cause there were electrics in­volved – al­though they had tripped off – I wasn’t charged.”

How­ever, Mr Gould is faced with a bill af­ter he had to later call in Ren­tokil to sani­tise the area be­fore re­plac­ing his cool­ing unit.

Foun­tains

The driv­ing rain caused foun­tains of wa­ter to be thrown up as driv­ers tried to ne­go­ti­ate tricky ar­eas through Bethers­den, High Halden and St Michael’s in par­tic­u­lar.

Fields across the bor­ough were un­der wa­ter, and the area out­side Green­ways gar­den cen­tre at Bethers­den was par­tic­u­larly bad.

The junc­tion of the A28 and Shore­ham Lane at St Michael’s was badly af­fected, swamp­ing the grass verge and sur­round­ing a park bench while cars ploughed past.

A fire and res­cue of­fi­cer was called out to visit the nearby care home in Lit­tle Hill, while an­other at­tended Bay­ley Field on the Ash­ford Road in Bethers­den af­ter flood­ing was said to have af­fected five homes.

On Ten­ter­den Road in Ap­ple­dore Heath, a woman was res­cued by Ten­ter­den fire crew af­ter be­com­ing trapped in her car due to the flood­ing.

Wa­ter swamped the grounds of two semi-de­tached homes at Bethers­den Road, Bethers­den, and crept un­der the floor­boards. Fire­fight­ers were called out at noon and pumped out the wa­ter.

Ash­ford fire sta­tion crew man­ager Tim Han­ley said: “The wa­ter had run off nearby fields and had got into the prop­er­ties through air­bricks.

“It ended up lap­ping half an inch un­der the floor­boards but did not go over.”

More rain is fore­cast this week­end, with un­set­tled weather ex­pected next week.

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