Ashford in the Water Flood Warning on the 5th February 2011

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On the 5th February 2011 a Flood Warning was issued by the Environment Agency for Ashford in the Water. The telephone warning indicated that flooding was imminent in Church Street. A number of resident’s who received the warning were obviously very concerned. The Environment Agency reported  that water levels will peak at 0400 hours at a height of 1.1 metres at the Ashford Gauge, which is situated one mile up river towards Buxton, therefore a close eye needed to be kept on the  situation. The flood relief channel opposite Wye House was checked and found to be clear. Water was filling the flood plane opposite Watts Green, thus reducing the risk.  Sand bags were provided by Derbyshire Dales and deployed in Watts Green just in case conditions deteriorated. The situation was monitored until the early hours of Sunday morning when the river level subsided.  It was comforting to know that an operational crew from the Environment Agency were in the area and remained in contact with us should we require information/ assistance.

 

The incident highlighted a number of issues that still need to be addressed to ensure that appropriate measures are in place should a flooding incident occur in the Ashford area.

 

  1. The flood warning system initiated by the Environment Agency is of great benefit. However, it was discovered that a number of residents who would be affected are not registered and would be oblivious to the potential threat. It is recommended that residents who may be affected by flooding register with the Environment Agency to receive these valuable warnings. This can be done on the internet by going towww.environment-agency.gov.uk, or you can also sign up for Floodline Warnings Direct by calling Floodline on 0845 988 1188. There are 3 levels that you should be aware of;

 

  • Flood Alert -(Flooding is possible)
  • Flood Warning -(Flooding is expected immediate action required)
  • Severe Flood Warning – (Danger to life from severe flooding)

 

  1. A large number of residents still do not have flood boards to protect their homes. Sandbags will not always be readily available, and there may not be sufficient volunteers to assist. It is my experience that sandbags are not that effective. Your home is your responsibility, so please make appropriate provision. Flood boards range from the cheap slot in type to the expensive models that form a seal around doorways and airbricks. For more advice you can contact Floodline on 0845 988 1188.

 

  1. We still do not have a suitable local emergency plan in place. I am sure that local residents will rally round to assist should it be required, but these efforts will need to be coordinated with appropriate communications in place. This issue will be discussed with the Parish council in the near future.

 

Finally I would like to offer our thanks to Derbyshire Dales, the Environment Agency and the local volunteers who came forth to assist in what was a very worrying time for residents. The issue of flooding is a constant concern especially with climate change and extreme weather conditions that can occur.

 

Bill Dinley.

 

Flood Warden for Ashford.

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