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Snodland and Birling hit by worse flooding in 30 years as roads brought to a standstill

By Luke May

By Luke May and Brad Harper

Parts of Kent were brought to a standstill after the worst flooding seen by some residents in 30 years.

Torrential rain shut roads across the west of the county, including Snodand and Birling, on Monday evening into the following morning.

But as roads reopened, many people were still coping with damage to their homes and cars.

Aerial footage of the flooding

Homes were left seriously damaged in Birling and one resident has been up since 5am trying to clear water from inside her home.

Tracey Diss, who lives on Ryarsh Road, said: “The water came all the way through. The torrent which came down broke my gate. It burst through the outbuilding and moved a chest freezer across the room and broke it."

The 58-year-old called the proprietors of The Nevill Bull pub a “tower of strength” after they helped people in the community affected by the floods.

Bull Road in Birling was submerged by flood water on Tuesday night. Top - Tracey Diss' wooden gates were thrown open by flood water. Picture: Richard Harrison-Murray (12156654)
Bull Road in Birling was submerged by flood water on Tuesday night. Top - Tracey Diss' wooden gates were thrown open by flood water. Picture: Richard Harrison-Murray (12156654)

Ms Diss said: "They are new to the village, but they acted like they have always been here.

"They opened early, they offered hot drinks and said if we need anything else then they are happy to help.

"They have got Wi-Fi, which they said anyone can use. The couple behind [my house] have no electricity and they are in a terrible state, but they were most helpful to them."

Bull Road in Birling was submerged by flood water on Tuesday night. Picture: Richard Harrison-Murray (12156652)
Bull Road in Birling was submerged by flood water on Tuesday night. Picture: Richard Harrison-Murray (12156652)

Gia Fulker had to climb out of her car and leave it in Bull Road, Birling, when the worst of the rain hit.

She said: "I was stuck in the car for 20 minutes and the water was up to the handle.

"I was on the phone to police, I didn't know what to do, then the water started to surge in waves.

Cars have been abandoned in Bull Road, Birling (12134023)
Cars have been abandoned in Bull Road, Birling (12134023)

"It filled up really quick, then my car started to fill up. I had to climb out my window."

By the time she returned to her Vauxhall this morning, suitcases in the back were sodden with rainwater.

Five minutes away in Snodland, St Katherine's Lane was shut as water continued to pour.

Keith Johnson, who lives on the road, discovered nearly two feet of water in his garage, which had seeped into his car, fridge freezer and drawers.

Keith Johnson's car, garage and garden all flooded in St Katherine's Lane in Snodland (12156890)
Keith Johnson's car, garage and garden all flooded in St Katherine's Lane in Snodland (12156890)

He said: "I've lived here 30 years, whenever we get a fair amount of rain the water runs down both sides of the lane and the drain can't cope.

"In 30 years it's never come up to my drive. Last night it was in my garage, almost two foot deep, it was about half an inch below my doorstep.

"There's water in the foot wells of my car, a fridge freezer and power tools in my garage are completely wrecked.

"I've never known anything like it."

Chatham and Aylesford MP Tracey Crouch said: "Yesterday's torrential rain caused a huge amount of misery for householders and road users and I am grateful to the emergency services and council for their response in supporting those affected."

Ms Crouch has already criticised the lack of sufficient drainage on the A20 London Road in Aylesford, which also flooded.

Read more: All the latest news from Malling.

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