HOMEOWNERS who dreamed their homes were protected by flood defences faced a rude awakening yesterday.
Andy Churchill had a lucky escape when flood water began pouring into his garage in Hylton Road, St John's, Worcester, this morning, forcing him to clear it out before his electrical and petrol-powered work tools were soaked and stock and timber were ruined. Mr Churchill said the fuel tanker which supplies the pumps clearing water from the road could not get through and was turned away. He said: "The tanker just sat there for an hour. I am presuming it was the fuel tanker for the pumps. I was told there was just an hour's worth of fuel left in the pumps. I feel down, worried and apprehensive."
But fortunately, the flood waters began to recede, and his home was spared the fate it suffered in both 2000 and again in 2007 when his carp were left swimming in a foot of sewage. Their previous flooding problems have led to two insurance claims totalling £100,000. At one point today a Dutch lorry driver drove at speed along the road, sending a large wake in the direction of Mr Churchill's garage as he was sweeping it out. After the 2007 floods Mr Churchill, who ironically has a business called ARC home and garden maintenance, the interior level of his home was raised by 12 inches to protect it from flooding. They also have a flood chamber to help cope with flood water. After the creation of the 560 metre bund in Hylton Road, which opened in June 2009, he said he and wife Bev had started to feel safe. Mr Churchill said Severn Trent Water needed to sort out the drains as he believed this was where most of the excess water was coming from.
Neighbours Anne and Charles Merriman, who have lived in Hylton Road for 31 years, said they had also heard the pumps ran out of fuel. When they checked there was 15 inches of water in the flood chamber under their house. They criticised 4x4 and lorry drivers, one of whom sent a wake towards the house when he drove through flood water. He was "laughing" and blasted his horn at Mr Merriman when he stood in the road to try and get him to slow down.
Severn Trent Water confirmed a number of pumps stationed on a flooded Worcester road to siphon water off the route stopped working today.
Severn Trent Water said four of its six pumps on Hylton Road, next to the River Severn, would not work about 10ambecause of a “technical issue”, believed to be a lack of fuel.
A spokesperson said they were back up-and-running an hour or so later with three more on the way, with the water company hoping to source two more.
"Once they are all in place that should be enough to clear the road of water," said the spokesperson.