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Herne Bay: The struggling businesses in the Kent town under siege from flooding

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Original article from Kent Live

Businesses in Herne Bay are struggling to cope after the weekend's heavy rainfall, which led to flooding along sections of the coast.

Properties along Central Parade had to have water pumped from their basements following thunderstorms in the early hours of Sunday morning (August 22).

The flooding hit both houses and businesses in the area after drains struggled to cope with the downpour.

Read more: Herne Bay and Tankerton: The 2 Kent beaches where you should not swim due to pollution risks

It's had damaging after-effects as many of the businesses can no longer open and serve customers.

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Saloon Bar & Grill is one of the affected businesses. Owner Emma told KentLive: "We lost so many customers, we had to cancel some of our bookings and others rang up and cancelled themselves.

"It's especially hard after the lockdown, when the hospitality industry is already struggling and looking for custom."

Saloon Bar & Grill lost most of its electrical equipment as a result of the flood, including its ovens and fridges.

It also lost a lot of bookings as staff were unable to open the restaurant until 4pm due to wet floors.

According to Emma all of the shops in that area of Central Parade suffered at the hands of the flooding, with many businesses still remaining closed yesterday afternoon (Monday, August 23).

Central Parade suffered the worst damage from the flooding in Herne Bay

She added: "I have no idea how much damage it did in terms of money, it's scary."

Emma said neighbouring Ice Cream parlour Scoops experienced the worst damage.

The shop remained closed to customers on Monday – a sign outside read: "We are shut due to flooding – we will be open tomorrow at 8am."

Remnants of flood water can still be seen in the area surrounding Scoops.

Scoops Ice Cream reportedly also suffered bad flood damage

Saloon Bar & Grill intends to send video footage of the damage to Southern Water, who it believes is to blame for the flooding.

A spokesperson for Southern Water said: "We’re responding to a number of reports of flooding affecting customers in the Herne Bay area following exceptionally heavy rainfall earlier today (August 22).

"We’ve been visiting customers who have contacted us to assess their situation and we’ll continue to speak with those who have been affected throughout the day.

"Flooding is a traumatic experience and our priority at this time is to minimise the impact on our customers. We’re sending additional teams to the area to ensure we provide clean up support as quickly as possible.

"We will carry out a full investigation to understand what, in addition to the extreme weather, may have contributed to this incident."

Remnants of flood water can be seen outside Scoops in Herne Bay

Fire crews were spotted in Central Parade at around 6am on Sunday morning (August 22) helping with the clear-up and flood relief teams could still be seen operating at houses in the area on Monday afternoon.

Other areas of Herne Bay were also impacted badly by the flooding, including part of Sea Street, and commuters had to wade through knee-high water in the underpass at Herne Bay station.

Flood relief crews could be seen attending houses along Central Parade

The weekend's storms also caused a number of discharges into the sea from Southern Water's sewer overflows at Herne Bay, Whitstable, Swalecliffe and Tankerton.

This happens during periods of heavy rain to prevent the drainage system from being overloaded.

There are two sewer overflows that discharge into the bathing water at Herne Bay – one discharges 600m offshore while the other is inland and discharges into a stream at the eastern end of the bathing water.

Many of the shops along Central Parade remain closed

Surfers Against Sewage, who monitor discharge from sewers and water quality, issued advice not to swim in Herne Bay due to the likelihood of reduced water quality at the beginning of August, after similar Southern Water leaks.

However this was lifted two weeks ago and there are currently no warnings in place on the Environment Agency's Bathing Water Profile for Herne Bay.

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Original Article