MP meets residents flooded by bank holiday downpour

MP Nick Gibb has met residents whose properties suffered damage in the bank holiday flooding.

The Bognor Regis and Littlehampton MP met constituents in South Terrace, Littlehampton, on Friday, following the extreme weather of May 28 – classed as a one-in-60-year event by the Environment Agency – when 52mm of rain fell in an hour.

MP Nick Gibb with Wayne McConnell and other residents of South Terrace who were affected by flooding

MP Nick Gibb with Wayne McConnell and other residents of South Terrace who were affected by flooding

Mr Gibb met residents at the home of Wayne McConnell to discuss the events and the likely causes of the surface water drainage system being unable to cope with the deluge of rain water.

Mr Gibb said: “Having your home flooded with surface rain water or potentially contaminated dirty water can be a devastating experience.

“It’s important, therefore, to discover the causes and for Southern Water and West Sussex County Council to begin remedial works on the surface water drainage system to ensure it can’t happen again.

“From our meeting on Friday it’s clear that one possible cause is the inadequate road drainage system in Irvine Road, which results in excess rainwater being channelled to the back gardens of properties in South Terrace.

“I will be asking to meet engineers from Southern Water and West Sussex County Council, together with representatives of local residents so we can determine the causes and how to mitigate the risks caused by future heavy downpours of rain.”

A West Sussex County Council spokesman said: “West Sussex Highways continues to work with our communities and public protection team, West Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Southern Water, Arun District Council and the local flood action group to better understand the flooding mechanism and what more could be done to reduce the current risk.

“This was a very intense, short duration, rainfall event lasting less than an hour.”

Southern Water was approached for a comment.