A family business has been hit with a fine after being forced to park their van on the road while their warehouse was flooded.
Freya Reynolds’s family business Reynolds Furniture in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, was hit by floodwater on November 4, causing damage in their warehouse and devastating the family.
Due to the 2ft-deep water, they couldn’t park their vans inside the warehouse and left them on the pavement in the industrial estate.
But below the floodwater were double yellow lines and a traffic warden issued a parking fine.
Ms Reynolds, from Bognor Regis, said: “It was an unprecedented situation and we didn’t have anywhere else to put it. The warehouse had completely flooded so we couldn’t even get the vans into our yard.
“We didn’t want to leave our vans on the road overnight but we felt we had no choice so we had to leave it outside the warehouse.
“The whole road was flooded and the gym over the road was as well, so nobody was going to be using the road. That’s why we didn’t see it as an issue.
“It never crossed my mind that someone would give us a parking ticket.”
Ms Reynolds has hit out at the warden for giving them a ticket during extreme weather, saying that they should have been more “empathetic”.
She claims that they couldn’t even drive on the road, the flood water was so high.
“I got a text from the warehouse manager on Sunday. I was shocked and wondered who could have done that,” she said.
“Surely they would have seen that the road was flooded and we couldn’t put our van anywhere else.
“I told them in the appeal that I think it’s unfair and I believed we’d be told not to do it again and that they understand why we did it.
“Even their own council building up the road was flooded so you’d think they’d have some empathy for the situation.”
Reynolds Furniture appealed the £35 fine the following day but this was initially rejected with the council saying “flooding would not permit parking on double yellow lines”.
The family have said it will take them six months to a year before they are working normally again.
Facebook users have called the traffic warden “overzealous”, a “jobsworth” with one person wishing “karma would find its way back to them”.
An Arun District Council spokesperson said: “Qrun District Council appreciate the significant challenges posed by recent flooding in Bognor Regis and the difficulty this caused in locating suitable parking during this time.
“The Penalty Charge Notice was issued correctly however, having considered the circumstances of the case, as a gesture of goodwill, Arun District Council will write off the balance owed.
“Should vehicles be parked on double yellow lines or in breach of parking restrictions moving forward, a Penalty Charge Notice may be issued.
“This course of action has been taken given the extreme circumstances and unprecedented weather conditions in this area at the time.”