Richard Graham: Invesment is protecting homes from floods
IN 2007, we remember Gloucestershire water was cut off, electricity only just saved and over a thousand residents forced to abandon their homes. Are we seeing a repeat?
Today, river water levels are 0.5m below those of 2007 and the flash rainfall is less intense.
Nonetheless, our flooding defences have been severely tested, and without the investment of the past five years by government, local government and business, the Environment Agency estimates that 500 more houses than the 30 odd so far affected would have flooded.
Likewise, to date the defences put around the Walham power station and the Castlemeads substation have succeeded in keeping out the water, and the 3million gallon reservoir for the Horsbere Brook has prevented Manor Park and Cypress Gardens in Elmbridge/Longlevens from flooding.
The extra height of the Bund on Alney Island has kept the river out, and the new drains, sewers and pumps installed by Severn Trent in Westgate and Kingsholm have also worked well so far. Lastly residents have told me that the councils and Environment Agency have been out in force, helping pump away flood water from homes.
The Prime Minister visited our Tri Service Centre this week. He was reassured that the local emergency services, with partners, have things under control at the moment and that investment in anti flooding is working; and that no further help from government is yet needed.