Independent report on flooding to be heard by council

By published 23 January, 2014 No Comments

A COUNCIL is developing a surface water management plan to identify projects that could alleviate flooding.

Redcar & Cleveland Borough Council is examining its flooding strategy following a storm in which some areas of the borough experienced 155 per cent of an average September’s rainfall in six hours.

An independent report, to be presented to the council’s cabinet next week, described the storm of September 6, last year, as an extreme weather event only likely to occur once in 250 years.

However, the report also says that a multi-agency plan and continued community engagement could help the borough better cope with flooding and mitigate the effects of such extreme rainfall.

Councillor Helen McLuckie, the council’s cabinet member for highways, planning and transport said:
“The report states that the main cause of the flooding was the extremely heavy rainfall which simply overcame the capacity of the drainage systems.

Although there is some room to improve drainage the main action to tackle flood risk is to develop surface water management plans.

These plans will consider schemes to hold surface water back from the drainage systems until an extreme weather event has subsided.”

The report cites an £100,000 grant that was awarded by the Environment Agency and identifies potential funding streams for future projects.

Other recommendations in the report call for a land management scheme that could see private land alongside watercourses deliberately flooded in extreme weather.

flood-car

The council is also expected to continue to work with private industry to look at ways of improving surface water flow through large industrial sites.

Reviews of the drainage maintenance policy of about 29,000 highway gullies and the councils emergency response procedures are also being recommended.

On Tuesday, councillors will consider the report and how the national Flood Forecasting Centre issued a low flood risk warning for the borough, two days before the September 6 event.

At the time 19 such warnings had been issued, since May, and on each occasion the council checked culvert grids and gullies at known flooding hotspots.

As late as 12.30pm on the day of the flooding the Flood Forecasting Centre was predicting the borough would miss the worst of the rainfall.

However, as rainfall worsened council chiefs escalated their response, calling out additional drainage resources, before the Environment Agency issued a flood warning at 5.30pm.
Cabinet will meet at 10am in the 25K Centre, Redcar.

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