Alleviation scheme team receives big thank-you from town’s flood victims

Morpeth residents and invited guests were present when the town's �27million flood alleviation scheme was officially opened on Monday afternoon. Picture by Jane Coltman
Morpeth residents and invited guests were present when the town's �27million flood alleviation scheme was officially opened on Monday afternoon. Picture by Jane Coltman
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Morpeth residents praised the Environment Agency team behind the flood defence project at its official opening event.

Stalls were put in place on High Stanners on Monday afternoon to give people the opportunity to find out more about the £27million alleviation scheme.

As well as the upstream storage area and a new flood wall and embankment along the riverside at High Stanners, there are new and improved defences by Crawford Terrace in Middle Greens, St George’s Church, St Robert’s Church, The Chantry, Pretoria Avenue and Mitford Road.

Rod Mathieson of Abbey Mills was among the hundreds of people who had to leave their homes because of the major flood in 2008.

He said: “We have been informed of everything that has been going on during the works and the Environment Agency has done a good job with the scheme.

“We feel relieved now that the defences are in place and hopefully the insurance companies will reflect this in their prices.”

Mr and Mrs Towers of Challoner’s Gardens were also hit by the deluge seven years ago.

They said: “It has always been at the back of our minds that another flood like that could happen again, so we’re extremely glad to have the new walls in place at High Stanners – we feel like a weight has been lifted from our shoulders.

“The stalls have been very informative and Environment Agency staff were able to answer our questions about how the flood gates will work.”

The Morpeth Flood Action Group gave residents the opportunity to fill in a form about flood insurance as part of its on-going campaign on the issue.

Chairman Alan Bell said: “We’re pleased that residents were able to find out more about the alleviation scheme and ask questions of the experts.”

“We now hope that the surface water project will be progressed by the county council and Northumbrian Water as quickly as possible.”