A woman fears her store could be flooded for the second time in a week following heavy rains and says city council is not doing enough to shut it down.

Lavinia Asquith, owner of The Curvy Boutique in Hythe, says she called Kent County Council (KCC) today to report blocked drains on High Street, which are already filling with rainwater.

Lavinia Asquith fears her store will be flooded again and says KCC is not doing enough to clean the pipes. All photos: Lavinia Asquith

She fears that the water, which has nowhere to go, will flood her store and those around her, as it did last Thursday after the nighttime storms.

But she says the council said it was not an emergency because her store has yet to be flooded.

Ms Asquith, 52, also says she was told it could be two weeks before someone can visit and maintain the drains.

She said: “My store was flooded last week, as were several others in High Street and Chapel Street. It entered through the front and back doors.

“It’s because the pipes are clogged. My carpet was saturated, and after spending several days trying to dry it, I had to throw it out.

Photo shows workshop floor damaged after carpet removal
Photo shows workshop floor damaged after carpet removal

“The store smelled like sewage.

“The ground below is still wet. I also had to throw away equipment that had been damaged.

“Today it’s raining more and the pipes are full again. We are facing another flood.

“I called KCC but they said it was not an emergency as there was no flooding yet.

“I think it’s disgusting. Surely prevention is better?

“I think we have the potential to be inundated again, but they won’t do anything about it.”

Drains are already filling with water
Drains are already filling with water

Ms Asquith opened her store in November 2019 and had been closed for seven months due to the pandemic.

She added: “I thought if I could go through Covid, I could go through anything. But I didn’t expect to be inundated.

“Most of us on the High Street are independent traders. It’s very upsetting and stressful.

“It is very frustrating that this can only be treated as an emergency after the flooding.

“I am going to file a claim with KCC for the damages; it was because of the drains that I lost business.”

Lavinia Asquith
Lavinia Asquith

Last Thursday, other businesses and some homes were flooded after heavy downpours. One pub had to delay its opening and other people had to take time off from work to clean their floors.

KCC has been approached for comment.

Read more: All the latest news from Hythe



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