FRUSTRATED families fear elderly neighbours will again be forced to drag out sandbags to stop their homes from being overcome with flooding.

A crunch meeting was held between residents, Anglian Water bosses and Southend Council after the worst flooding the area had ever seen.

Serious flooding last month left roads and pavements submerged and forced manhole covers to burst off. But fed-up residents claim Anglian Water offered up no short-term solutions. They said they were told water systems in the area are “inadequate.”

Kim Hall, chair of Thorpe Bay Residents’ Association, called on Anglian Water bosses to address issues with flooding by putting together a maintenance plan for the area. She also urged the firm responds in emergencies to put down sandbags and pump water.

Mrs Hall said: “Anglian Water have agreed to work with a subcontractor to improve the situation with flooding, but we have had no promises to get a better response.

“I have residents in the affected areas near Thorpe Hall Avenue in their 80s and 90s and we just can’t expect them to be dragging out sandbags themselves to save their homes from being flooded.

“What is unclear is any short-term solution. All we know is when it happens next time, there will be a ‘quicker response’. Before our next meeting in June, we need to have an urgent meeting to look at solid plans, be that changes to the road or putting in water retention methods to prevent what we saw on March 12.”

Shah Haider, chair of Southend against Sewage, said: “People in Thorpe Bay are scared of losing their insurance over flooding and don’t want to move to different areas.

“It is getting worse here due to issues with the sewer system. People in Thorpe need a remedy now and it was disappointing to hear any idea of a solution is so far off, especially when recent flooding put such pressure on the drainage system. Our infrastructure is failing and we need to know what is happening.”

An Anglian Water spokesperson said: “We will be working with the council to design an intermediate solution to help mitigate the impact from flooding. We will also be investing £50m into a more sustainable drainage system, removing surface water from our foul and combined sewer systems.”