Splashing cash to save homes from flooding

WORK WELCOME ... but Wuppertal Court resident John Drynan is keeping the sandbags, just in case.
WORK WELCOME ... but Wuppertal Court resident John Drynan is keeping the sandbags, just in case.

A £250,000 scheme is being launched to protect flood-hit homes in South Tyneside.

The South Tyneside Council project is aimed at saving 50 homes in Wuppertal Court, Jarrow, from the freak weather conditions that flooded some of the homes last year.

The scheme is the latest of a series of measures taken by the council to reduce future flood risks in parts of the borough most at risk, and is being funded with cash from the Environment Agency.

The work will give ‘property level protection’ to homes, installing air brick covers, flood-resistant external doors, and non-return valves in waste pipes and pump systems.

Every property will be individually assessed to decide the most appropriate measures.

Coun Tracey Dixon, South Tyneside’s lead member for area management and community safety, said: “Last year’s extreme weather affected hundreds of people in the borough.

“We are looking at both short and long-term measures to give residents and businesses increased protection in the future.

“Flood problems are extremely complex and no two areas are the same, so we are working towards a range of areas across the borough with the Environment Agency and Northumbrian Water.

“Property level protection is not right for every area, but it is a good option for a place like Wuppertal Court, which has faced localised flash flooding that is not linked to wider problems in other areas.

“We are also continuing to pursue a range of other options in several areas across South Tyneside.”

Last year’s floods, in June and August, cost South Tyneside Council an estimated £2m.

The deluge on June 28 saw 162 homes in the borough hit by flooding, with 33 businesses also affected.

The storm on August 5 led to flooding in about 100 properties.

More heavy rain later in the year also made an impact.

During recent months, the council has also launched several localised initiatives such as temporary sandbag defences, ditch clearing and new field drains in various parts of the borough.

Steel containers are now placed in strategic locations around the borough so that staff can get to essentials equipment, like sandbags and signage, as quickly as possible in the event of flooding.

Twitter: @shieldsgazvick