Houses in Benwell Close were flooded for the second time in less than two years in early July when drains backed up. Quick work by firefighters from as far away as Marlborough prevented homes in Moresby Close on the other side of Westlea Drive again being inundated.
Another heavy storm on 22 July had residents worried that it was going to happen a second time in a week.
Now residents want the Environment Agency to come up with answers to the problems.
At the September 2004 West Swindon Forum, Swindon Council engineers explained that the storm on 12 August 2004 was the worst for 32 years. Six houses in Moresby Close and three in Benwell Close – closest to Westlea brook – were flooded.
On 6 July this year 44mm of rain fell in five hours on parched land and the brook filled up in minutes. Thanks to the vigilance of Moresby Close resident Joy Jansen, firefighters from Westlea station turned out to pump water out of garages before it entered houses.
Joy said, “I get nervous whenever it rains heavily even though the council said these events happen rarely. We?ve now had floods twice in 23 months. The sewers backed up again and the firemen had to pump raw sewage directly into the brook to stop it coming into houses.
“Swindon Council, Thames Water and the Environment Agency have to come up with answers to prevent this happening again.”
Neighbour Isobel Roberts agreed that the fire crews had done a fantastic job.
Closeby in Benwell Close Eileen Webster and her partner Doran Patterson were not so lucky, pictured above. She said the stream rose at 2.45am and went down then was up again at 5am. “The council said the Environment Agency was responsible, but they said they couldn?t do anything until the water went down. The firemen from Marlbor-ough were very helpful when they arrived to pump out the house; it was three inches up the wall and the carpets are ruined.
“I?ve lived here for 18 years and there were never problems until the 2004 flood. Because of it we couldn?t get insurance so we?ll have to replace the carpets ourselves.”
A Swindon Council spokesman said that the Environment Agency had taken over Westlea brook in 2005, but added that after the problems in 2004 the council cleared away vegetation from the stream and also widened it in one place as agreed at the forum meeting.
A spokesman for the Environment Agency said, “the flooding was the result of very heavy rainfall over a short period, which left rivers, streams and drains unable to cope with the volume. Swindon is a large town and there are places in which we still need to gather more information before we can assess the level of risk for that area. Then we can decide how and if we can reduce flood risk.
“Recent restoration work on the River Ray has created more flood storage area than existed before.”
He added that the Agency will be carrying out maintenance and working with the council to identify more purpose-built flood storage areas to hold excess water.