Flood outlook 'improving' after better weather in Kenley and Purley, say Croydon Council
Flood stricken businesses and residents have said there is a light at the end of the tunnel as roads begin to reopen in the flooded areas of the borough and the 24 hour pumping operation is scaled back.
Firefighters had been a permanent fixture in Kenley and Purley since the start of February with more than 100 working at a time to stop the water treatment plant from flooding and homes being left underwater.
But just under a month after the fight to stop the flood began they have left the area as the water level has lowered and London Fire Brigade has handed the relief effort back to Croydon Council.
Council contractors will continue to pump water out of affected areas in the southern part of Croydon.
The majority of the A22 Godstone Road is still closed but there is some good news as the council has reopened a small section of the road from Purley Road up to and including Foxley Hill Road.
The A22 has opened at Purley but only for small vehicles which are quickly diverted again off the A22 at the re-opened Foxley Hill
And a centre section of the street is open from St James to Hayes Lane for businesses and residents.
There are pipes running along the road which create a relief system so water can flow through the valley to protect the Kenley treatment works and reduce the flooding in Dale Road.
The council is hoping to reduce the number of pipes with the aim of fully opening the road by mid-March.
A Croydon Council spokesman said: “An improvement in the weather over the past week or so has enabled a quickening of efforts to restore the flood-hit areas of Kenley and Purley.
“Much still needs to be done, however, and council officers, partner organisations and emergency services continue to work to restore normality to affected homes, businesses and roads.”
And a spokesman for Sutton and East Surrey Water warned the area is not out of the woods yet and said another spate of heavy rain would cause problems.
He said: "The situation is stable but we are keeping a very close eye on things.
"The water levels have come up again but we don’t have concerns at the moment.
"We are continuing to strengthen the defences and it really does depend on what the weather does.
"Tandridge Council have created holding ponds further up the valley but they are filling up so we have to manage the whole valley rather than just our treatment works.
"We are pumping at the moment but we are hoping the levels will drop soon."
Flooding in Dale Road at its worst (top)
Dale Road yesterday afternoon (bottom), levels had gone down.
Good news for businesses
Businesses have welcomed the news they will be given £1,000 from Croydon Council and given a three month rebate on their business rates to help them recover from the floods.
Marilyn Poulton of Westbourne Florists, who saw the basement of her shop flooded and had to get the help of a scout group to scoop out water from the shop, said the announcement came as a surprise to her.
Marilyn Poulton (of Westbourne Florists presented Mr Pickles with a Rose from her shop
She said: "It is very welcome news and it shows that the small businesses are being looked after at times of need.
"It is not something I expected and I have been in business over 30 years.
"It is the first time the needs of the small businesses have been recognised.
"Business has been flat but we will bounce back.
"Things are slowly getting back to normal and we are hoping to be trading properly by Mothers Day."
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