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Peter Cunningham tackles Folkestone floods with £5 broom

A quick-thinking dad saved dozens of homes from flooding after taking to the street with a broom and sweeping the water away.

Several roads in Folkestone are currently under water due to rising river levels and heavy rainfall.

Russell Road was heavily flooded (21182099)
Russell Road was heavily flooded (21182099)

The Environment Agency issued an alert this morning warning people that 'flooding of property is imminent'.

And when Peter Cunningham noticed the water in his street, Russell Road, was getting increasingly deeper he decided to take action.

Wearing a Captain America superhero T-shirt, the 35-year-old grabbed a broom and started sweeping the water towards the drains.

He managed to unblock three of the drains using his hands and removing the debris, therefore allowing the water to flow away.

He said: "I saw the water and thought I need to get out there fast and get it away from the houses.

The water was fast appraoching homes (21182104)
The water was fast appraoching homes (21182104)

"Cars were going past and the ripple effect meant the water was fast approaching front doors.

"I ran out there with my £5 broom and pushed the water towards the drains.

"I found four, and they were all blocked.

"I managed to unclog three of them of the leaves and debris. And the water started flowing away."

The before and after pictures of Russell Street are vastly different following Mr Cunningham's hard work.

He adds: "Thousands and thousands of pounds worth of damage to houses was prevented. I reckon I saved 30 homes from flooding

"The fire brigade turned up and said I'd got it under control so they could attend elsewhere in crisis.

"A guy who has lived here for 40 years came up and thanked me."

Peter Cunningham took to the street with his broom and swept all the water away (21182101)
Peter Cunningham took to the street with his broom and swept all the water away (21182101)

Officers from the Environment Agency are currently in Folkestone monitoring the town after issuing an alert.

A statement from this morning reads: "River levels have risen possibly as a result of a blockage near the Foco Club and because of a heavy downpour.

"Consequently, flooding of property may be imminent.

"Further rainfall is forecast over the next hour. We are closely monitoring the situation.

"Our incident response staff are out on the ground checking and clearing any blockages and debris on the Pent Stream."

The flood alert was removed by the EA this afternoon but said 'standing water and debris may still remain'.

Police and firefighters are also assisting with the ongoing floods.

A Kent Fire and Rescue spokeswoman said: “Firefighters have been working to help clear flood water in several streets in Folkestone today.

"Crews visited Black Bull Road, Russell Road, Mead Road, Bradstone Road, Cheriton Road, Road of Remembrance and Dover Road, working to help clear drains of leaves.

"In some areas the water receded as a result, however some roads remain closed due flooding.

"Firefighters are urging the public to take care around flood water, and to avoid travelling through flood water, whether on foot or in a vehicle."

Read more: All the latest news from Folkestone


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