Serious Flooding Abbs Cross Lane. 17th & 18th June 2021.

Yesterday evening at 17.45pm, I received an urgent call from a local resident to inform me that once again the section of road adjacent to the railway bridge in Abbs Cross Lane had flooded. I immediately called the council’s emergency services phone number to report the problem and request help for the beleaguered residents. I also call the fire brigade to see if they could help with pumping the water away. Unfortunately, the fire brigade no longer has equipment for this type of situation and were not able to help.

At just after 6pm, I along with my colleague Cllr Paul Middleton attended the location to help and to direct the traffic to minimise the damaging effect that vehicles driving through the flooded area were having on the residents’ properties.

Just before 8pm a council gully sucker arrived on site but by this time the water had receded substantially.

Low and behold I then received a call at 8am this morning from another resident informing me that the flooding in Abbs Cross Lane was happening again. I again contacted the council requesting help. On my way to Abbs Cross Lane I phoned my colleagues Cllr Middleton and Cllr Morgon requesting that they come to site and help with traffic management which they did without question. One encouraging point was that a council employee was already on site, and he helped us manage the traffic and remove a broken-down vehicle. Around 9.30am the water finally began to recede but to our frustration the rain arrived again, and the road began to flood once more. Fortunately, the downpour was not as heavy as the previous two occasions. We finally left site around 10.30am.

The flooding in this part of Abbs Cross Lane has been ongoing for years. The council do clean the drains out on a regular basis, but dirty drains are not the real issue. The problem is that the drains cannot cope with the vast volumes of water with which they are now dealing with. With climate change having a greater impact on our weather this problem can only get worse for the residents of Abbs Cross Lane. The council must now take this problem seriously and find a solution and fix it urgently.

It is no good the Leader of the Council saying to residents at every week in his online magazine “contact me if you have a problem” when residents do email him, he chooses to ignore them and do nothing, or even worse, he uses words of comfort that appear like he is doing something, but in reality has not lifted a finger.
It is of no surprise because he ignores the emails I have sent since 2020 requesting help for this area. I am an elected councillor, what chance do the general public have?


Author: Councillor Gerry O'Sullivan

Gerry is a Ward Councillor for St. Andrews & Hornchurch Resident's Association Executive member.

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