Thanks to all our friends who've been emailing and texting to make sure we're ok. We are fine thank you, and more to the point almost dry!
After I put the pictures on the blog yesterday afternoon things gradually got worse. We decided to cancel training as we really didn't fancy leaving the house unattended and I'm so glad we made that decision.
It kept raining all afternoon and the water was gradually rising. One of our neighbours mentioned that the drain which runs from the big field and under the road had been blocked a few years back so Andy and Michael (our other neighbour) went down to the little bridge and sure enough the water was backing up on our side of the road and absolutely nothing was coming out the other side. The water normally travels from our ditch under the road into the ditch in the fields opposite and then disperses into the river. As the water couldn't get through it was discharging from the field into our gardens.
I called every authority I could think of and trying to get someone to take responsibility it nigh on impossible. Our local authority delivered sandbags to us and our neighbours. Andy spent most of the afternoon and evening helping Michael as his situation was worse than ours. They have wooden suspended floors and the water was gushing through the air bricks right through the house. Geoff (our other neighbour) and Dan came down to help me with sandbags at our place. The poor dogs couldn't go out as the back was under a foot of water. By the evening the water was surging down the side alleyway and into the front so we had to get sandbags at the front door as well. Luckily there was a reasonable sized patch of gravel still free of water on the front drive so I took them out there to have a wee.
Andy finally got some sense out of Southern Water who said they'd send out a unit but right now they still haven't been. What a surprise. However, at about 9.15 pm the water started to recede dramatically and Andy went off down the road to see what was happening. It was Michael's father and not the water company doing the work. He had taken himself down into the drain right underneath the road and managed to get his rods far enough through to allow a small amount of water to get away. It's not much of a flow but enough for the water to start to get away. By this time it had stopped raining which was a relief. We hadn't realised he had been down there for over two hours as he was determined to do something. What a hero.
This morning our lawn is completely clear of water, the agility area is still flooded in places and Michael and Grant's gardens are still partially flooded as the water is draining out across to the field rather than to the rear. Now Andy is phoning round all the various agencies trying to find out who is responsible for keeping this drain clear. We are also going to get in touch with the land owner to see if we can get him to help. We need to get this sorted as after today the weather is looking grim again.
I took a little film of the flood late in the afternoon, at this point I was still "enjoying" the little adventure, very soon after I took this film the fun had disappeared and we were seriously worried that we were going to get flooded. It was awful and we were so lucky, all thanks to Michael's father really.
In this film the water isn't even covering the gravel by the door sill, within about half an hour the water level had risen to the level of that sill. As said though, by that stage I wasn't in the mood to take more photos or film - I was too scared!
Seems like we might have had a bit of a result. Kent Highways have now said that this drain is their responsibility and that the will send out a team to clear the drain. They can't say when but it's high on their priority list due to the fact that properties have had water ingress due to the problem.
Strangely enough when I spoke to them yesterday they told me very firmly that it wasn't their responsibility and that I should speak to other authorities and/or the land owner, even though the drain runs under their highway. I guess when I made that call at around 5.00 pm I was unlucky enough to speak to someone who was more interested in going home than doing their job!