'Never seen it as bad' - Families evacuated after Bungay floods
- Credit: Stella Robinson
A major incident was declared after flooding hit Bungay on Christmas Eve - with locals saying they have never seen it as bad.
There were reports of severe flooding on Bridge Road and Staithe Road in the town, with residents also evacuated from properties in Falcon Meadow and Ditchingham Dam.
At 4.35am, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service said the major incident was being scaled down but would maintain a presence in the town overnight.
One man said: "It brings a terrible year to a terrible end."
Lowestoft Police thanked residents in the flooded areas for the compassion they showed to officers and members of the fire service, even when they were being evacuated from their homes.
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Stella Robinson, who lives on Sun Road in Broome, said: "I have lived here 23 years and I have never ever seen Bungay, Broome, Earsham and the surrounding area as flooded as they are now.
"I've seen cars stranded, roads you can't get through."
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Her neighbour's mother-in-law lives on Bridge Road in Bungay. "The fire brigade and army were shoring up walls, making sure a house next door didn't fall into the river," she said.
By Christmas Day morning, the waters were lowering - but there was fear that more rain would bring more flooding.
Ms Robinson said: "My heart goes out to those who are flooded. We've had a blooming awful year, it's been one thing after another, and to have this on Christmas Eve, it's heartbreaking."
In Earsham, houses at Temple Bar and Earsham Dam were flooded, as well as the graveyard next to All Saints church, where wreaths and ornaments left on graves were floating about on the water.
Rector Chris Hutton said they were "devastated" and would tidy up the cemetery as soon as possible.
The church building was not affected.
But the floods had also brought out community spirit.
Many people took to social media to offer Christmas dinner for those affected, while Bigods KItchen, a cafe on Castle Meadow in Bungay, said they would welcome people between 4pm and 5pm on Christmas Day for dinner for free.