Homes could still be at flood risk

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FLOOD specialists have recently finished new mapping of Pocklington, but say that up to 100 properties in the town are potentially still at risk from disaster.

Fifty properties in the town flooded in June 2007 after extreme rainfall and caused damage worth more than £2million, and, since then, work has been carried out between the Environment Agency (EA) and members of a local flood committee to clear culverts from gravel and debris.

Despite this, they admit there are parts of the town which could potentially still flood.

They include streets close to where the beck runs, including London Street, Chapmangate and the town centre roads including Market Street, Market Place, Railway Street, Regent Street and Grape Lane among others.

There are some areas classed as having the potential for extreme flooding, which includes sections of West Green.

However, EA officer Emma Townend said the work in recent years has helped reduced the risk.

She said: “By doing some modelling of the town we were able to get a clearer picture of flood risk before the work and an after picture to see if the level of risk is now lower.

“The after scenario showed that there have been clear benefits in undertaking this work to reduce flood risk.

“As well as looking at the direct result of our gravel removal work we have used the information to update the flood map for Pocklington on our website.

“We hope this will raise awareness amongst the public, local authorities and emergency services on the areas of land that could be affected by flooding. Over 100 properties are at risk of flooding in the town, so we’d encourage residents to log onto the website.

“We presented these results to Pocklington Town Council Flood Action Group, who were pleased with the progress we are making.”

Pocklington councillor, Martin Cooper, recently stepped down from the flood committee but was a key member. He thanked the EA for their work.

He said: “We have held many long and, at times, difficult meetings with the EA over the years and I am glad to say they finally took on board the local knowledge that has helped bring about the works done up to date.

“It must be remembered that we are still not flood free and there is still a need for further work to be done, therefore we must be diligent in keeping this at the forefront, we still need to get the East Riding Council to play their part in helping the EA and the town, there are further works required to be undertaken by the EA when funding is available and they continue to lobby on our behalf.

“When we remember the extent of the flooding in 2007 around the East Riding, and flooding since such as in Cumbria, the town has done well to get the resources needed.

“It is without question that the town owes thanks to the town clerk, Richard Wood, whose initial idea it was to utilise the flood grant to great effect by suggesting the council commission experts to look into the reasons why the town flooded, this one thing strengthened our position and helped us enormously in being able to pressure the EA into accessing the funds required to action the expert analysis done by Peter Kite Associates.”

Indeed, Peter Kite Associates found a combination of weeks of rain and partially blocked culverts running underneath the town were major factors in the 2007 flooding.

Since then, the Environment Agency carried out CCTV inspections using robot-like cameras to explore the culvert system, identifying any further blockages. Using the information from the inspections 315 tonnes of gravel, silt and rubble were removed.

A new telemetry station has also been installed to monitor the level of the beck and a new trash screen has been fitted on Bridge Street to prevent the storm overflow culvert becoming blocked.

The data will also be used to set up new flood warnings for the residents of Pocklington which is a free service that provides advanced warnings if there is a risk of flooding.