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Woman’s anguish as parents’ grave flooded

WATERLOGGED CEMETERY ... Ann Lloyd is angry over South Tyneside Councils response to the problem of flooding at Jarrow Cemetery.

WATERLOGGED CEMETERY ... Ann Lloyd is angry over South Tyneside Councils response to the problem of flooding at Jarrow Cemetery.

A SOUTH Tyneside woman’s Christmas tribute to her deceased parents was ruined after she found their grave flooded.

Ann Lloyd went to Jarrow Cemetery to place a festive wreath on her mother and father, Eleanor and William Crawford’s grave.

She was stunned to find it was under nearly a foot of water.

The 55-year-old, of Stirling Avenue, Jarrow, said: “It’s so upsetting to see the grave like that. There’s had to be at least 10 inches of water.

“All I wanted to do was hang a Christmas wreath on the grave, but I couldn’t even get anywhere near it. It was heartbreaking.”

Mr Crawford has been buried in the cemetery since 1997, and was joined by his wife when she passed away in 2010.

South Tyneside Council says it is trying its best to resolve the problem.

Mrs Lloyd, a mother-of-three, added: “I phoned the council and spoke to the bereavement people, but I felt the man I spoke to was very unsympathetic.

“He just said that everywhere was flooded and that there was nothing he could do about it, but surely he could understand why I’m so upset about it.”

She added: “It’s a cemetery and it’s most upsetting for people to visit their loved ones and find their graves in this state.

“He was just no help.

“I visit the grave regularly, but I left the wreath until the last minute so that it would still be nice on Christmas Day.

“But I couldn’t even hang it up.”

The cemetery, near Lindisfarne Road, has been hit by floods numerous times over the years, leading to previous remedial action to unblock the drains.

A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “Heavy rainfall over recent days has caused surface water issues across the borough which the council and its partners have been working hard to resolve.

“We are aware of flooding issues in parts of Jarrow Cemetery and appreciate that this may be upsetting for relatives wishing to access the area and tend to the plots of loved ones.

“A gully cleaning crew will attend the cemetery to assess the problem and to use specialist equipment to remove the surface water and any blockages.

“A more detailed review of the cemetery and its associated drainage is ongoing, to find a longer term solution to the flooding problems.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki

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