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Call for action as Ironbridge drains overwhelmed by rain

By Deborah Hardiman | Ironbridge | Environment | Published:

Drain investigations are underway after a cafe was hit by floods for the fourth time in as many months.

Dale End Cafe owner Chris Harrison

Heavy rain caused water to cascade into the street from a sewer into Dale End Cafe and a neighbouring property in Coalbrookdale on Sunday.

Since the incident, cleaning teams from Telford & Wrekin Council have joined in a community clean-up of the premises and the street.

Severn Trent Water engineers have been carrying sewer checks and discussing the situation with the cafe's owner Chris Harrison.

It is believed that the council and water company representatives were due to hold talks over wider issues regarding repeat flooding in the Ironbridge area.

Ironbridge's temporary flood barriers were overwhelmed by the sheer weight of water back in February

Mr Harrison, who has run the cafe for two years, said: "There was a flash flood which cause a problem with the sewers. It just goes to show that the infrastructure round Ironbridge is old and cannot cope.

"Our cafe and the property behind it were affected by the sewer issues, but a number of the other businesses have also got concerns.

"At the start of the week nobody seemed to want to take responsibility for what happened because of the actions of Telford & Wrekin Council in trying to do a good thing, by helping to tidy up which was an important thing to do.

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"The council has been brilliant in terms of trying to get the street clean outside the shops.

"There has been a bit of change because Severn Trent Water has arrived and spent the morning with us inspecting all the drains and the covers and there will be a report.

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"Councillor Carolyn Healy has been down here this morning and it is my understanding that a meeting of all the parties involved in the area will be arranged to see how things can be moved forward.

"The cleaning has involved the path which runs past the school. The guys also delivered some bleach and the street smells much better than it did. Inside the cafe needs to be sorted out.

Dale End Cafe in Coalbrookdale back in February

"We had taken delivery of some equipment just last week as we're trying to get back to business after the last flooding.

"From our point of view we are hoping this meeting will come off. From the residents' point of view, they want to see the drainage issues resolved. They have been here much longer than us."

Councillor Carolyn Healy, ward representative for Ironbridge Gorge, posted on Twitter: "After the terrible further flooding of Dale End Cafe, caused when the Severn Trent Water main sewer was overwhelmed during the heavy rain, our @TelfordWrekin @idverdeUK crews have gone above and beyond to help the cafe clean up and reopen."

Dale End Cafe was one of many businesses to be hit by floods in February after the River Severn twice burst its banks.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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