Planning to prevent future flooding chaos

FLOODING NIGHTMARE ... a car driving through flood water on Ocean Road, South Shields, during the worst of the storms in 2012.

FLOODING NIGHTMARE ... a car driving through flood water on Ocean Road, South Shields, during the worst of the storms in 2012.

PLANS to prevent a repeat of flooding which brought havoc to South Tyneside are to be revealed tomorrow.

A special report will be presented to South Tyneside Council’s Place Committee highlighting a raft of flood risk measures already in place and proposals in the pipeline to safeguard residents.

Super storms wreaked havoc across the borough in August 2012, including overflowing drains, seeing water pour into businesses on Ocean Road, South Shields.

Elsewhere 40 passengers were left stranded after a Metro Train was forced to stop due to flooding at Chichester Metro.

There were also problems on the roads, with the A194 and Jarrow’s Lindisfarne roundabout being closed. Homes and a host of homes and businesses were also affected as rain lashed down.

Now the council is stepping up its bid to protect the borough’s most at-risk areas from the prospect of future flash floods.

As part of the action the authority has purchased a new gully cleansing vehicle to help surface water drain effectively from borough roads.

And the council, Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency have worked jointly on a new sewerage study to reduce flood risk in Hebburn South.

Coun Nancy Maxwell, chairwoman of the committee, said: “Having your home or business flooded has a huge impact on people’s lives, and work is underway to provide increased protection in flood-prone areas right across South Tyneside.

“The council’s Place Committee set up a scrutiny commission for flood risk management back in 2010, and this has provided a basis for a lot of the good work that is going on now.

“This week’s meeting is an opportunity for the council and residents to take another look at the progress we are making and to discuss priorities for the future.

“Flooding and surface water flows can be extremely complex, and often need very close study to ensure that a solution for one community doesn’t end up creating worse problems for a neighbouring area.

“No two areas are the same, so we are pursuing a range of different options.”

The council’s Strategic Flood Group, which works with partners, such as Northumbrian Water and the Environment Agency, has carried out detailed surface water modelling and put in place a five-year action plan of measures.

Flood protection action is already underway to support most areas most vulnerable from future flooding.

Fifty homes in Jarrow’s Wuppertal Court area are benefiting from ‘Property Level Protection’ measures such as flood resistant doors, air brick covers and non-return valves, after the council secured £240,000 in funding from the Environment Agency.

The council is also working closely with Northumbrian Water, which is investing £2.63m in a major programme to reduce flood risk at Ocean Road, which flooded several times during 2012.

The local authority recently cleared and extended a ditch at Cleadon Lea to reduce water run-off from fields, while a local study is helping agencies to manage flood risk at Reay Crescent in Boldon.

Other measures include temporary sandbag defences, ditch cleanouts and field drains, as well as an intensive gully cleaning programme and steel containers placed in strategic locations so that staff can access essentials like sandbags and signage as quickly as possible.

Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting, which gets underway at 10am at South Shields Town Hall.

Twitter: @shieldsgaz




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