Flooding resurfaces after downpours

Photo  from Trevor Watson of flooding at Dark Lane.
Photo from Trevor Watson of flooding at Dark Lane.

FLOODING problems came to the fore again in Morpeth this week following heavy downpours.

Traffic in Dark Lane had to negotiate a pool of standing water near the new Morrisons store on Monday, while pedestrians had to wade through the water to cross the road.

There was also a problem in Bridge Street, where water poured out of a gully by the crossing at St George’s Church.

Chantry Place resident Trevor Watson, who took pictures of the chaos, said: “This has been going on for years.

“Even before they put the crossing in at Dark Lane people were worried about the drains there, but nothing seems to have been done about it. All the water runs down the road, but it doesn’t go down the drain.

“St George’s crossing is where a lot of old folk cross the road, but they were getting soaked. There were a lot of people trying to cross after work on Monday, but they were getting drenched. I tried to shield them with my umbrella, but the traffic just drove through, spraying water everywhere.”

The Morpeth Flood Action Group has been discussing the issue of surface water flooding with Northumberland County Council and other agencies.

Chairman Alan Bell said: “We have been aware of the problem at Dark Lane for the past four years. Ever since the flood in 2008 we have been getting on to Northumberland County Council to sort this out.

“The problem is the drain doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and the council has done nothing about it. We thought that at least when the new supermarket was coming in that this drain would be addressed because it goes absolutely nowhere. The other drains go into the Cotting Burn so we thought something might have been done for this one, but nothing has been done.

“We are still raising this with the council. It is particularly coming to notice now that more people are using the crossing, but the problem has been there for quite some time.

“The council says it is looking into it and is aware of the problem, but we don’t seem to be seeing any progress.”

Mr Bell said surface water flooding is a huge problem nationwide and more must be done to tackle it.

“The Morpeth Flood Action Group has been talking about surface water flooding and the risk of that,” he said.

“With the increasing severity of storms due to climate change it means more and more people are at risk. There are more people at risk of surface water flooding than from rivers.”

A spokeswoman for Northumberland County Council said surface water problems in Morpeth will be considered as part of the flood alleviation scheme.

She said: “We are working with the Environment Agency, with the close involvement of the Flood Action Group, to address surface water issues at various points around Morpeth, including these areas around Low Stanners. We aim to establish solutions, which will be implemented as part of the overall flood alleviation scheme for the town.”