Locals ‘complained for years’ about road flooding where Liverpool couple died
Residents in the area where an elderly couple died after their car drove into a flooded road said they had been complaining to the council to fix and prevent the recurrent problem for years.
Elaine and Philip Marco, who were 75 and 77, were found inside a submerged black Mercedes on Queens Drive between North Mossley Hill road and Dovedale road on Saturday evening. Police were alerted at 9:20pm.
Jenna Serrano, who lives nearby, said her sons were woken up by “horrible screams” coming from outside. She added: “My boys, they heard screaming. At first, I thought it was the thunder and lightning.
“It’s just awful what happened to that couple and the road is flooding all the time. It’s just a nightmare trying to get from A to B.”
The Met Office issued a yellow weather warning across Merseyside, as well as parts of Cheshire, on Saturday night and into Sunday morning. Experts warned of possible flooding and disruption across the region.
Serrano said she was surprised such a tragedy had not occurred sooner given the poor lighting on the road, which slopes in both directions, and heavy rain over the last week. She said: “I’ve never heard rain like it … It was just going on for hours and was really heavy.”
After complaining to the council for years, Lisa Gore said it is time they act. “The council sent their condolences but really, they need to do something about it,” she said.
Carl Cashman, a Lib Dem councillor for the neighbouring Church ward in Wavertree, said the road keeps flooding because drainage infrastructure – some of which is more than 150 years old – is not up to standard.
“The actual drainage on the road, that’s just over 100 years old and then the drainage on the railway is over 150 years old, so that’s even worse … it’s no longer fit for purpose,” he said.
One resident, who preferred not to be named, said floods in the area, and particularly on the part of the road where the couple’s car was found, are common.
“It pretty much floods every time there is a downpour, but [Saturday] was the worst I have ever seen it,” she said. “We were watching Succession and had to turn the volume right up, that’s how loud and heavy the rain was.”
She said it was disappointing that it took two people losing their lives for the council to take proper notice. She said: “You have to have something bad happen for something to change here. It’s so sad.”
Cashman said Elaine and Phillip Marco’s deaths are tragic and point to a broader problem with how public areas are maintained.
He added: “Over the last couple of days, loads of places in the north of the city have flooded but it’s not as if it’s a new issue. It has been ongoing.
“The public realm and Liverpool at the moment is just filthy … you’ve got leaf fall, weeds that are growing, literally through gullies, and it is all contributing to the bigger problem that’s going to be really, really difficult to manage unless the infrastructure and the drainage around the city is fixed.
“I don’t want to point any fingers but I think because of the financial situation that the council finds itself in, it’s struggling to provide basic services.”
A Liverpool city council spokesperson said: “This was a tragic incident and our thoughts are with those involved and their families. Council officers from highways and city watch supported the emergency services in responding. The road is expected to remain closed for some time while an investigation takes place, and motorists are asked to continue to avoid the area.”