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Rossendale traders angry at lack of council action to drain blockages
TRADERS in East Lancashire have been left cursing the weather once again after severe flooding cost them thousands of pounds.
Fire crews in Rossendale were on red alert after dealing with 26 incidents in just a few hours late on Tuesday afternoon.
Now business owners in Bacup are calling for Rossendale Council and United Utilities to upgrade the town’s drainage system Gary Rayner, who runs Just Wot U Need convenience store in Union Street with his wife Carol, said his livelihood was at risk due to the constant threat of flooding in his shop.
Mr Rayner said this latest episode was the third time in eight weeks his premises had been affected.
He said: “Every time we get hit we lose money. We have to close the shop, clean or replace the carpet, sometimes replace food. We’re looking at £2,000 of damage each time.
“Business isn’t great in Bacup anyway due to a lack of support from the council and to make things worse they refuse to raise the kerb outside the shop to help prevent water getting in.
“I can only go on holiday one week a year and I am so worried about leaving the shop. I’ll be billing the council for this damage – it’s not my fault the drainage system is Victorian.”
Chaz Donoghue, landlady of the Waterloo Hotel, also in Union Street, added: “We’re shutting for days at a time. The drains can’t cope and the council aren’t doing enough.
“We’d only just sanatised the cellar and it was flooded again immediately as soon as the fire brigade left.”
Drainage expert Barry Dickson said the scene was ‘like a fountain’.
He said: “The gullies and gutters aren’t getting cleaned enough. There must be a blocked mains sewer in the road. The litter problem here just makes things worse.”
Rossendale Council said its communities and environment teams were doing their utmost to help the worst-affected streets in Bacup and Rawtenstall.
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