Nightmare of flooding threat to family home

Floods outside the home of Iain Lewis in Silverdale Road, Burgess Hill SUS-161103-140153001
Floods outside the home of Iain Lewis in Silverdale Road, Burgess Hill SUS-161103-140153001

A family in Burgess Hill are at the end of their tether after suffering constant flooding outside their home.

Iain Lewis and his wife Gill say the problem has been going on for years and they are now on tenterhooks every time it rains.

Floodwater frequently sweeps from the road into their garden and up their driveway to their house in Silverdale Road.

Iain said: “These issues occur every few months and more frequently when the weather is bad.

“We have flooded on more times than I can remember.”

He said they were ‘up all hours trying to stop it but it always runs through the air bricks – the garden is constantly covered in debris and sludge’.

And, he said, the house often smelt of damp.

“I find myself obsessed with weather forecasts and radar images of rainfall to try and pre-empt when it is likely to happen next – I have often been outside at 2-3 in the morning clearing drains and putting sandbags across the driveway to stop the flooding.”

He said the problem had been going on for years and, despite complaints to local councillors and West Sussex County Council, nothing was being done to solve the issue.

“The Christmas/New Year before last we had around five days when the only way into our house was using wellies as we had sandbags out, but all that meant was there was a flood the other side of them so no cars could be put on our drive and people had to wade through the flood to get in.”

He added: “I am really at the end of my patience now on this issue that has been going on for several years.”

A spokeswoman for West Sussex County Council said that a number of works had been carried out to try and alleviate the problem.

“A number of improvement works have been carried out in Silverdale Road to reduce the risk of flooding including raising a kerb to ensure the surface water was draining effectively and using jets to clear debris from the drainage systems.

“On Mr Lewis’s behalf, we have also contacted Southern Water who is responsible for the drainage pipe in that area.

“We sympathise with Mr Lewis as we understand from his latest correspondence that he is still experiencing a number of issues and we will work towards arranging a meeting with all three parties to explore the issue further.”