Event to explain how flood defences work

The upstream storage dam.
The upstream storage dam.

Residents living in and near Morpeth are invited to a drop-in to find out more about the town’s flood alleviation scheme.

The Environment Agency and Northumberland County Council will be there to explain how the protection system works and give an update on plans to tackle surface water flooding in the area.

At the start of January, the four flood gates in the town centre were closed and the upstream storage dam on the Mitford Estate operated for the first time since it was completed in summer 2015.

The other topics at the drop-in include information about the on-going work to reduce the risk of flooding from the Cotting Burn and the flood warning areas in Morpeth, and details on how to be prepared for flooding and becoming a flood warden.

Alan Cadas, operations manager for the Environment Agency in the North East, said: “In January the flood defences in Morpeth operated as designed, protecting it from flooding. It’s reassuring for residents to know the scheme works as it’s meant to do.

“However, we know residents are keen to find out more about how the scheme works – for example, what level the river must reach for the gates to be closed and at what point the dam will operate.

“We understand it’s distressing when the River Wansbeck starts to rise and we want residents to have full confidence in the scheme, so we’re keen for people to come along to this event to find out more and ask questions.

“And of course we’ll take on board any concerns or feedback they might have.”

The event will take place on Monday, February 22, in Morpeth Town Hall between 3pm and 8pm.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services at Northumberland County Council, said: “The drop-in will provide a fantastic opportunity for Morpeth residents and visitors to learn more about how the newly constructed defences perform during very wet weather.

“It will also provide the first opportunity to view the county council’s plans for managing the remaining risks from surface water and council staff will be on hand to take feedback and answer any queries on the proposals.”

Residents who have not already signed up for the free flood warning service can do so by calling Floodline on 0345 9881188.