Page last updated at 07:55 GMT, Tuesday, 16 December 2008

Clear-up follows care home flood

Residents are moved out of the care home
Residents were moved out of the care home to a place of safety

A clear-up operation is getting under way after floods in Crawley which led to the evacuation of a care home.

Forty seven elderly people were rescued from the Gables Nursing Home and moved to alternative accommodation after the River Mole burst its banks on Saturday.

Crawley council said the clear-up would begin on Tuesday after staff worked through the weekend pumping water and clearing waterways in Ifield Green.

West Sussex council wants an urgent flood risk assessment in the area.

Peter Allen, construction manager at Crawley council, said: "A huge amount of rain fell on Friday and Saturday and in Ifield Green it had nowhere to go.

"In other areas of the town our alleviation methods worked so we will be pressing the Environment Agency to advance plans for the installation of the proposed Rusper Road dam to avoid future flooding in Ifield."

He said cleaning of the road around The Gables would begin after vehicles had been moved and silt had dried.

Boat crew

Crawley council is reviewing where water flowed and which properties flooded.

Mr Allen said the council had spent 2.3m since 2000 installing flood alleviation measures in the area.

River water poured into the care home in Ifield Green shortly before 1900 GMT, flooding the ground floor.

Residents were moved to a place of safety inside the building before being taken to another nursing home.

Firefighters brought the residents out of the nursing home before they were taken to alternative accommodation in Warninglid.

No-one was injured, but one woman was reported to have suffered shock.

West Sussex Fire and Rescue mobilised six fire engines, their Technical Rescue Unit, and a boat crew to the scene.

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