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Report into Wainfleet flooding published

Wainfleet flood bags of ballast from above

Lincolnshire County Council has published an independent report looking at what led to the flooding in Wainfleet in June 2019.

Produced by Norfolk County Council, the report highlighted the 'significant' rainfall – over 150mm in two days- which led to the overtopping and erosion of the relief channel bank, as the main cause of the breach.

The report also highlighted other factors which played a part in the flooding, including: the design of the banks, amount of vegetation on the banks, silt levels, the level of water in the relief channel, cattle grazing on the banks, overflowing surface water and foul drainage systems caused by the significant rainfall and water flow.

Cllr Colin Davie, executive member for Environment at Lincolnshire County Council, commented:

"This was some of the worst flooding we've ever seen in the county – an absolutely awful experience for the community. We commissioned Norfolk County Council to find out what caused it, and to find out how we can reduce the risk of it happening again.

"We're pleased to see this independent report, but I would have liked it to be more focussed with more solid recommendations.

"I do hope this report will go some way to answering some of the questions on why homes were flooded in this unprecedented event. I also hope it gives residents reassurance that we, as the lead local flood authority, will work together with all the agencies involved to do our very best to reduce the risk of this happening again." 

Along with the causes of the flooding, the report highlights 18 key things agencies and locals could do to try to protect the town in the future.

These include, amongst others, assessing the conditions of the banks along the Steeping, monitor silt levels and vegetation growth, reviewing maintenance programmes, improve land management practices e.g. controlling cattle and managing the effects of burrowing animals, implement flood mitigation measures, look at ways to better manage surface water, and to develop community plans. 

Colin added: "I'm pleased to see that over the past few months, in anticipation of the report, there has been much going on in the Steeping community. We have been supporting our partners, including the Environment Agency and Internal Drainage Boards, with their enhanced maintenance programmes along the river banks and have been looking at how water in the wider catchment area can be better managed in the future." 

The report is available in full on www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/wainfleet

The report will be heard and discussed at the Flood and Water Manager Scrutiny meeting at 10am at the Storehouse in Skegness on Monday 24 February 2020.

Published: 14th February 2020