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Henwood Industrial Estate in Ashford blocked as heavy rain hits Kent

The incessant rain which battered Kent may have passed, but standing water is still causing disruption in Ashford.

A huge pool outside the fire station is blocking the only road in and out of the Henwood Industrial Estate - and it is set to remain shut until this evening.

The water has built up at the entrance to the Henwood Industrial Estate. Picture: Andy Clark
The water has built up at the entrance to the Henwood Industrial Estate. Picture: Andy Clark

The closure caused long delays in the town centre during the rush hour this morning, with queues building up along Mace Lane and Hythe Road.

Contractors are still working to clear the water, which has covered the road and filled the Ashford Borough Council-owned Henwood car park.

Pedestrians can still use the pavement to access the estate, but have to clamber over a low fence to avoid the water.

Traffic was seen queuing on Mace Lane as workers waiting to access their units parked their cars and vans in the road.

The Henwood estate is home to scores of businesses, including the Flip Out trampoline centre and Ashford Glass Supplies.

Only large vehicles including HGVs have been able to get through the water. Picture: Andy Clark
Only large vehicles including HGVs have been able to get through the water. Picture: Andy Clark
This map shows the flooded part of the Henwood Industrial Estate
This map shows the flooded part of the Henwood Industrial Estate
The Henwood car park, owned by Ashford Borough Council, is flooded
The Henwood car park, owned by Ashford Borough Council, is flooded

A Kent County Council spokesman said the authority was made aware of the flooding this morning.

He said: "The adjacent watercourse level caused a backflow of water onto the highway.

“Our engineer initiated the valve system to stop the river from backflowing so that we were able to remove the water.

“Once done, we had two tankers and a pump on site to remove the flood water, which remains ongoing. We expect the road to be reopened by this evening (Friday).

“Due to the intensity of the rain that fell over the course of Thursday many watercourses and highway drains were all overwhelmed as a result.

“Across the county we had more than 60 roads closed because of flooding meaning our resources were severely stretched. KCC is responsible for 250,000 road drains.

A lorry ploughed through the water, but the estate remains closed
A lorry ploughed through the water, but the estate remains closed
Drivers have faced delays at the roundabout linking Mace Lane and Hythe Road. Picture: Andy Clark
Drivers have faced delays at the roundabout linking Mace Lane and Hythe Road. Picture: Andy Clark
Contractors have been working to clear the road since early this morning. Picture: Andy Clark
Contractors have been working to clear the road since early this morning. Picture: Andy Clark
Fire crews say their services remain unaffected. Picture: Andy Clark
Fire crews say their services remain unaffected. Picture: Andy Clark

“Not all flooding is as a result of drainage issues, such as this issue where the river has overflowed, and consistent rain over the last few weeks has saturated the ground meaning water doesn’t flow away naturally as it usually would.”

A Kent Fire and Rescue spokesman said the service is "aware of the flooding on the main road outside Ashford fire station" but its vehicles and services "remain unaffected".

Elsewhere, the Tannery Lane entrance to the Ashford Borough Council offices and Stour Centre is closed due to flooding in the car park.

And in South Willesborough, a playing field commonly known as Frog Island is also underwater.

One resident said: "Someone on Facebook said it was a new lake and that's genuinely not an overstatement.

South Willesborough has been hit by flooding
South Willesborough has been hit by flooding
The Tannery Lane entrance to the Stour Centre and Civic Centre is shut off
The Tannery Lane entrance to the Stour Centre and Civic Centre is shut off

"They really need to stop building on floodplains, the water has nowhere else to go and the floods are damaging people's property."

Flood alerts are still in place across the county following two days of heavy rainfall.

Have you taken any pictures of the flooding in Ashford? Email kentishexpress@thekmgroup.co.uk

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Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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