Storm Christoph flood fears bring spike in sandbag sales

Pictures of flooding in Thetford's town centre on Sunday. 

Pictures of flooding in Thetford's town centre on Sunday. - Credit: Terry Jermy

Builders merchants have seen a spike in sandbag sales as the region braces itself for more heavy rain.

It comes after hundreds of families were forced to leave their homes in Thetford, Brandon and Hockwold on Boxing Day as flooding submerged Thetford town centre.

Just three weeks ago Long Stratton saw its second flood since Christmas day and this week a bridge at the UEA was closed due to fears it was damaged when the university campus was hit by flooding over the festive period.

Bailey's of Norfolk in Hevingham, which sells landscape supplies, has sold a large volume of sandbags this week as families prepare for flooding on the Norfolk coast from the incoming Storm Christoph.

Owner Adrian Bailey said: "There has been a lot of sandbags going out lately, it's pretty much always like that when there's a chance of a storm.

"It's the best thing people can buy for their homes, if the water is approaching and rising and there's nowhere else for the water to go, then the only thing you can do is try to keep it out.

"Block your driveways and your entrances, doorways, things like that."

Despite the increased demand Mr Bailey said there was no need to panic as the company still had plenty in stock.

Flooding at Walcott in north Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Flooding at Walcott in north Norfolk. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant


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Building merchants CT Baker at Stalham said it normally sees a surge of sales during run up to a storm, however this week they had sold fewer than they usual given the circumstances.

Brian Hall, who works at the store, said: "We're not selling many at the minute, I'm an ex-lifeboat coxswain, so I was heavily involved in the 2013 Mundesley floods and normally you would see an increase in demand.

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"Normally when there is going to be flooding they come in from Walcott and Bacton area but we haven't had much demand today.

"From what we stock they're the best thing to use against flooding, they have these flood doors now and things like that, but the old ways are the better ways."

The A1101 at Welney is closed due to flooding. Picture: Ian Burt

The A1101 at Welney is closed due to flooding. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

Zoe Johnson, a forecaster from Norwich-based Weatherquest, said East Anglia would avoid the worst effects of the storm.

But added there was a risk of local flooding because the ground was already saturated from previous heavy rain.

She said it would be some high winds with some rain today and tomorrow but the worst of the rain was expected from midnight tomorrow.

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