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Drains on Canvey struggle to cope with deluge
1:23pm Wednesday 16th October 2013 in News
TANKERS were drafted on to Canvey over the weekend to drain water from the island’s streets by the lorry load following torrential downpours.
Councillors were forced to call in Essex County Council’s specialist gully trucks to pump water from the worst-hit roads after the drains backed up following heavy rain on Friday.
The trucks were sent to Western and Eastern Esplanade along the seafront and Thorney Bay Road to try and clear the water after the routes were shut off over fears they could be a danger to motorists.
Steven Cole, Canvey Independent councillor for Winter Gardens ward, said: “The area was just completely submerged under a foot of water or more. It was terrible and completely impassable, so I rang county councillor Ray Howard to get something done.
“We called the county council and we just said to them you need to get your gully trucks down here now before someone gets killed. During the day I saw them pumping water and carrying away truck-loads of water, about 10 times at least.”
Now Mr Howard is calling for County Hall to carry out a comprehensive review of the island’s drainage system, claiming many of Canvey’s drains are not linked up to the surface water drainage system or the island’s £6million water pumps.
Instead, the water is drained away into the soil.
He has also raised concerns some drains on the island may have even collapsed under the strain of heavy duty lorries and industrial traffic.
Mr Howard said: “Some drains, like the ones in Hannett Road for example, do not go anywhere so the water just goes into the earth.
This is fine during normal rainfall, but it is just not good enough when we see rain like this. They need to be linked up to the system or else it starts backing up into people’s gardens.
“I think in some cases some of the drains may have even collapsed, so we need to look into this. This will be a mammoth task but it needs doing. I’m giving my heart to this job and have been working my socks off to get this sorted. It won’t happen overnight, but I want people to be aware I am on the case.”
An Essex Highways engineer said: “We carry out an annual cleansing of all assets and look to fix any recorded defects of blockages in the system.
“We had reported blocked gully defects on Canvey, the majority of which have now been cleared.
Works are on-going to clear the outstanding defects.
“We are only aware of one soakway in Eastern Esplanade, Canvey. With regards to improvements, this has been passed to the flood management team for consideration."
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