Residents’ fears over more flooding

FLOODING FEARS ... pictured with the temporary flood defences in Durham Drive, Fellgate, are Couns Linda Hemmer and Steve Harrison.Inset, the same stretch of road under flood.
FLOODING FEARS ... pictured with the temporary flood defences in Durham Drive, Fellgate, are Couns Linda Hemmer and Steve Harrison.Inset, the same stretch of road under flood.

WORRIED residents are demanding action to prevent more flooding on a South Tyneside estate.

People on the Fellgate Estate in Jarrow have been repeatedly hit by flooding in recent years, with water running off a nearby farmer’s field into their homes.

Flood signs on Durham Drive, Fellgate

Flood signs on Durham Drive, Fellgate

But while South Tyneside Council is still preparing a major study into surface water problems across the borough, residents of Fellgate say they live in constant fear of flooding.

Jack Turnbull, 68, of Lancaster Way, who has prepared a dossier on the area’s flooding issues, said: “People on the estate are frightened to go away on holiday in case their homes are flooded out when they get back.

“Residents on the estate don’t want a report – they want action.”

Mr Turnbull, who has seen water running across his driveway and neighbours flooded out, believes the source of many of the problems is the proximity of agricultural land to residents’ homes, and the lack of maintenance of local culverts and ditches. The pensioner, who has lived on Fellgate Estate for 26 years, has logged a catalogue of flooding issues in the area since August 2005, the worst being last year, when homes suffered flooding twice within weeks.

He added: “The surface water is coming off the farmer’s field and onto the main roads, and the drains simply cannot cope.”

Coun Steve Harrison, for the Fellgate and Hedworth ward, said: “People on Fellgate are living in constant fear about flooding all the time.

“Sandbags have been positioned at the junction of Durham Drive and Lichfield Way since last year, which indicates the scale of the problem.

“But the ditches cannot cope, and overflow, and the water is just running into people’s homes.

“South Tyneside Council promised a major report this summer into the flooding issues, but we are still waiting.

“Meanwhile, with the bad winter weather starting up, people on Fellgate are again worried their homes will be flooded.”

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REACTING to residents’ fears on the Fellgate Estate, a local authority spokesman said: “South Tyneside Council has commissioned a detailed ‘surface water management plan’ to investigate the sources of surface water flow risk across the whole of the borough.

“The report will provide detailed understanding of areas that have previously flooded and those areas where flood risk has been highlighted as a future risk.

“The report has looked more closely at surface water flood risk in a number of areas that were particularly affected by last year’s flooding, and complements some of the detailed investigations that the council has undertaken in a range of areas.

“The report is in very late draft stages and will be presented to the local community area forums in the near future.

“It has undertaken detailed modelling of a number of areas, such as Fellgate, Cleadon Lea and the Lindisfarne roundabout. The report will identify the predicted flood risk in these areas and recommend a range of possible measures to reduce the risk.

“Due to the complex nature of the flood risk in a number of areas, the council is working closely with landowners and other risk management authorities, as complex interactions exist within the surface water drainage systems.

“A range of site-specific work will be required prior to implementing any of the report’s suggestions, which may have to align with external funding availability.”