Further drop-in sessions to be held for communities affected by flooding | Knutsford Times

Further drop-in sessions to be held for communities affected by flooding

By on September 3, 2019

Recovery works following last month’s flash floods are continuing across the north of Cheshire East – as further drop-in sessions are to be held for the communities affected.

Heavy and prolonged rainfall at the end of last month caused severe flooding in areas including Poynton, Bollington, Kettleshulme, Handforth, Wilmslow, Adlington and Rainow, with 150mm of rain falling over five days. Between 60-90mm of this fell in just 24 hours.

Cheshire East Council continues to lead the extensive recovery alongside partner agencies, with a thorough investigation into the flooding, major highways repairs and clean-up operations all ongoing – including gully emptying, whole scale reconstruction of parts of the highways network and removal of fallen trees.

To provide information and advice to those affected by the localised flooding and support them to become more flood resilient in the future, a multi-agency drop-in event was held in Poynton earlier this month and further sessions have now been organised.

For residents in the Bollington and Kettleshulme areas, a drop-in event will take place at Bollington Civic Hall on Wednesday 4 September between 3-7pm. A further event will take place at Wilmslow Library between 3-7pm on Thursday 12 September, for those in the Handforth and Wilmslow areas.

Both events are being hosted by the Environment Agency and will be attended by officers from Cheshire East Council and other partner agencies including United Utilities.

A spokesperson for Cheshire East Council said: “The council is committed to keeping our communities safe and supporting people to protect themselves, their properties and businesses, as much as they possibly can, from flooding.

“We encourage anyone with concerns or questions about the recent floods to attend these drop-in events. The feedback we receive will help us to shape a longer-term strategy for the area.”

As lead local flood authority, and under Section 19 of the Flood and Water Management Act, the council has initiated a multi-agency investigation into the flooding incidents. A Section 19 report will be produced and its findings made publicly available.

This will take some time to complete to ensure that the investigation is carried out thoroughly, in accordance with the Act and in partnership with agencies such as the Environment Agency.

It is anticipated that the report will be completed in around 12 months’ time, with its findings and recommendations made public following an internal and external approval process.

During the severe weather period between 27 July and 2 August, the council’s highways team received almost 1,140 requests of service across Cheshire East – 380 of those required an emergency response.

Working on a priority basis, additional resources are assisting with the repairs and clear up operation. All gullies in the north of the borough are being emptied, assessed and any further work required will be programmed.

A number of larger repair and reconstruction schemes have also been identified and due to the complexity of the work, will take some time to complete.

More information about the highways flood recovery works and the road closures still in place can be found on the highways section of our website.

The council thanks residents and motorists for their patience while these works take place.

The flooding also had a large impact on Cheshire East’s Public Rights of Way network and dozens of reports of damage were received.
Issues included sink holes; fallen trees, surface damage and bridges which had been destroyed, swept down stream or undercut by rivers.

The council’s Public Rights of Way team has been arranging for repairs and the replacement of structures where needed and informing landowners of any trees that need to be removed. This will take some time given the scale and complexity of the work.

While some paths are closed, the council is grateful for the public’s understanding in using alternative routes – which are shown on site notices.

Damage was also caused to some of Cheshire East Council’s country parks and trails. In some areas, footpaths, fencing and riverbanks were washed away, while many areas were covered with debris.

The countryside rangers team has been working hard to make the areas safe, clear debris and reopen them to the public.

  • Any issues found along the Public Rights of Way network can be reported here.
  • Diversion routes for all road closures can be found here.
  • More information about road gullies and drains maintenance can be found on the highways pages.
  • Residents and businesses who are unable to return to their properties as a result of the flooding, due to damage and/or repairs, are able to apply for discretionary reductions in council tax or business rates. The council’s emergency assistance scheme is also available for people in crisis. This is a non-cash scheme, but the type of help that could be provided includes essential furniture, some white goods and emergency food. You can find out more here.
  • Members of the public are advised to contact the council on 0300 123 5020 with any highways issues, or 0300 123 5025 out of hours.
  • Residents can sign up for free flood warnings on the Environment Agency’s website, follow them on Twitter for the latest information or call the Flood Line on 0345 988 1188.
  • Further help and advice is available from Public Health England regarding how to prepare for a flood and what to do if affected by floodwater.

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email news@knutsfordtimes.co.uk

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