Storm Aurore: Littlehampton residents ‘devastated’ by floods

Torrential rain brought by Storm Aurore has led to misery for people living near Littlehampton seafront.

Residents of South Terrace once again saw their homes damaged by flooding after the storm hit the south coast last Wednesday.

Rob Davison, 55, has lived in his basement flat in South Terrace for just three years.

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He said: “I have lost every single piece of furniture, I have 25 years of research into motor racing in Africa which is all gone.

Rob Davison, resident of South Terrace, who's flat was destroyed by the floods last week

“I am devastated but, at the end of the day, I am just going to have to go back to Africa and re-do everything.

“If it hadn’t been for my three neighbours, my mother Penny, Pam, and Iva, I would have lost completely everything.

“Whilst I was busy bailing water out the back, they brought their shopping trolleys down and took everything that they could save upstairs.

“We managed to save quite a bit of clothing, about a quarter of my books, but most of those are gone, as well as around 500 of my race programmes.

“The water was coming in from the back, and up from the drains. The water was smelly and contaminated with sewage.

“The water the firemen were pumping out was going back into the drains and back into my flat, but they were brilliant help on the night.”

“All my furniture has been taken to the tip now as it was outside my flat on the pavement. My landlord said he needs to gut the whole of my flat, which will take at least three months. Luckily, my sister is letting me stay with her in her home in Sea Lane.”

A spokesperson from Southern water said: “This part of Littlehampton is very low lying and has unfortunately suffered serious flooding in the past.

“Southern water invested £300,000 on improvements at its Foreshore Pumping Station in Littlehampton to reduce the risk of flooding in the area following storms in 2013.

“The station, which pumps excess flows of storm water out to sea during heavy rain, is located behind the coastguard building on Littlehampton seafront. Three new pumps were installed with higher capacity.

“Other work was done to ensure the network in the area was more resilient.

“During Storm Aurore the quantity of rain was so much that even the new pumps could not prevent the system overloading. Rain gauges at Ford measured more than 42mm of rain during the storm and even more in coastal areas nearby.

“Our people responded quickly to the incident and worked with other responders to mitigate the impact including using our equipment to clear out gullies.”