Rain leads to test of flood gates

Flood gates for the Morpeth defence scheme were tested at the weekend.
Flood gates for the Morpeth defence scheme were tested at the weekend.

Key components of the Morpeth Flood Alleviation Scheme were put into operation during the weekend.

A total of 17 flood alerts and six flood warnings were issued across the North East by the Environment Agency, but thankfully rainfall amounts were lower than originally anticipated.

In Morpeth, while the river levels were not high enough for the new dam on the Mitford Estate to operate, each of the flood gates were tested and all of them worked as intended.

The crayfish culvert in the dam did close automatically, as intended, which helps protect the species.

An Environment Agency spokeswoman said: “Although these gates have already been tested during and since construction, the rain at the weekend presented us with an opportunity to test them with water up against them.

“River levels remained low enough that we did not have to close the flood gates at High Stanners either.”

In the run up to the weekend, and during it, teams from the organisation were out on the ground day and night across the region checking and operating flood defences, monitoring river levels and keeping rivers clear of debris.

As for other Northumberland towns, 254 properties were protected from the Cockshaw Burn at Hexham by flood defences and operational action to clear debris and 60 homes were protected from the River Tyne at Corbridge as a result of improved defences completed earlier this year.