BUSINESSES and residents are still feeling the impact after flash flooding left many buildings sodden.

Torrential rainfall struck on Sunday, July 23, in the Ditton Street area, flooding homes and businesses.

Now, business owners and residents are wondering how the flooding was able to happen.

Concerns for the quality of drainage in the area have been aired and Somerset County Council says drains would be checked during an investigation into the flooding.

Resident Kerri Scrivens said: “I know a few of the neighbours were talking about county council having come out to clear drains recently, but they left having not done them because they didn’t have the right equipment.”

Another Ilminster resident, Jonathan Graves-Morris, also voiced his concerns, saying the flooding was not down to a culvert overflowing, but blocked drainage around the town.

He said: “At times when there has been persistent heavy rain and we have had flooding in Ditton Street, the culvert, that was reduced in size on Tesco’s arrival, normally fills and on occasions spills over.

“On this occasion myself and two town councillors went to check while the fire brigade were trying to clear the drains.

“The culvert was only half full, so what has been intimated by a county councillor that at this time being down to the blocked culvert was incorrect.

“It was the blocked road drainage system throughout the whole town. Yes, the culvert is collapsing in areas and this does not help.

“Immediate run off from the deluge the water ran from the north side of Ilminster via West Street, High Street, North Street, East Street and funnelled that way into Ditton Street, on their way several of the town centre shops were again flooded by the river of water.

“At the same time, run off from The Mead, Herne Rise, Listers Hill region also flowed down into Ditton Street.

“Of all the drains throughout these roads you will be lucky to find two in full 100 per cent working order.”

“In Wharf Lane properties were flooded badly along with sewerage as the sewerage system fails to drain away when heavy rain and this type of flooding occurs in this part of Ilminster.

“In these older parts of the town the drains are only four inch clay pipes yet newer developments, further up the line, have grown over the past 50 years not considering what could happen in the future. Expecting all the old systems to cope.

“If the system was working then the main impetus of the water would have been reduced.

“Like us, as we get older the more work that is piled on us can be increased until we get to a point where we can blow up.”

Somerset County Council said it would be looking into the performance of highway drainage as part of an investigation.

A spokesman said: “We’re always very sorry to hear about flooding particularly when it involves people’s homes. Since the incident we have contacted key agencies with a role in water management, including the Environment Agency.

“We have also discussed this matter with Ilminster Town Council and have visited the site to speak to some of those affected.

“Past instances of flooding at Ditton Street have been linked to the Shudrick Stream passing into a very narrow culvert into which the highway surface water drainage discharges.

“We are aware of concerns about the performance of the highway drainage and this will form part of our investigation.”

The council is also planning community drop-in events to meet residents.