Wednesday, 22 January 2014
Plans to manage floodwater in Redcar and Cleveland being drawn up in response to damaging deluge
Plans to manage floodwater in Redcar and Cleveland are being drawn up in response to last September’s damaging deluge.
Redcar and Cleveland Council is to develop “surface water management plans” in response to the floods of September 6, when parts of the borough experienced 155% of an average September’s rainfall in just six hours.
Homes were flooded as parts of the infrastucture failed to cope, prompting angry calls for action from those affected. Council, Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water officials also ran the gauntlet at stormy public meetings.
Now an independent report, to be presented to the council’s Cabinet at Redcar’s 25K Centre at 10am on Tuesday, describes the September 6 storm as a weather event only likely to occur once in 250 years.
But to help counter future problems, the report recommends a multi-agency plan and continued community engagement to help the borough better cope with flooding.
The report says the council has received a £100,000 Environment Agency grant “to initiate flood risk management” and develop surface water management plans - effectively, schemes to hold surface water back from reaching drainage systems until the extreme weather has subsided.
One recommendation is a land management scheme, where private land standing alongside watercourses is deliberately flooded.
The council is set to work with private industry to improve surface water flow through large industrial sites. Reviews of the maintenance policy of about 29,000 highway gullies, as well as the council’s emergency response procedures, are also recommended.
A report to Cabinet says: “Due to the conditions experienced on September 6, it is obvious something more radical needs to be considered, hence a greater focus and more research is required to develop surface water management plans.
“These will detail how surface water in such extreme conditions will be managed before it gets to the urban areas, thus allowing existing drainage to cope.”
Councillors will also hear how as late as 12.30pm on September 6, the national Flood Forecasting Centre was predicting the borough would miss the worst of the rainfall.
But as the deluge worsened, council chiefs called out additional drainage resources before the Environment Agency issued a flood warning at 5.29pm. Half an hour later, houses started to flood and, by 8pm, property flooding occurred across the borough.
Cabinet member for highways, planning and transport, Councillor Helen McLuckie said: “Although there is some room to improve drainage, the main action to tackle flood risk is to develop surface water management plans.”
Article from Gazette Live: