Staff take plunge for customers as flooding hits Wigan supermarket site

Asda staff in the flood water
Asda staff in the flood water

Praise for staff at a Wigan supermarket has flooded in after they waded into an overflowing yard to make sure customers got their shopping.

The back yard of the Wigan Asda Supercentre at Robin Park disappeared under water at the weekend after torrential downpours on both Saturday and Sunday.

A lorry in the water

A lorry in the water

Delivery vans could not get in and operations for those ordering from their own homes were moved to the front of the store.

However, getting the vehicles loaded and out of the bays meant plunging into several feet of water, with some colleagues in the flood up to hip level at one point.

The roundabout on Loire Drive giving access to both the supermarket and Robin Retail Park was also badly flooded, with numerous motorists getting into difficulties after attempting to plough through.

Asda deputy store manager Beth Perrin said: “The team had to come through the shop and the front doors to get the vans loaded.

“The distribution guys were great but they couldn’t get out of their cabs so we went out to them and opened up the back of the wagons.

“It was a huge team effort; the team were fantastic.

“The weather didn’t impact any of our home shopping customers. One of the car park entrances was completely flooded and we kept having to close it off. People will drive through anything!

“Four cars got stuck in the floodwater and had to be pushed out.”

Asda said the problems were caused by the drainage systems being swamped by the sheer amount of rainfall.

The Wigan store is built at a raised level to prevent its being flooded by the River Douglas nearby, but the yard and roundabout are prone to experiencing problems as they are at the lowest point of town, the supermarket said.

Senior colleagues have praised Asda staff who waded in.

Store senior director Gail Jordan, who herself came in on a day off to help, said: “I am super-proud of my Asda Wigan team today who, with sheer grit and determination and a complete lack of concern about getting wet and freezing, dealt with a warehouse and home shopping yard flood caused by the heavy rain to ensure minimum impact to our customers, wading through the water to ensure the deliveries got tipped and vans got loaded.”

The recent persistent and heavy rain has made several parts of Wigan susceptible to flooding, with the stormwater drain system struggling to cope.

Other recent flash points have included Back Lane at Appley Bridge, Scot Lane at Beech Hill and at the bottom of Gathurst Lane in Shevington.

Unblocking drains has, however, eased problems which often used to arise during heavy rains including in the Gorman Street area of Springfield and Spring Road, Kitt Green. The Swinley dam has also prevented flooding in the area.