Images highlight how flood defences worked

Tree poles at Lowford were also catching debris as designed.
Tree poles at Lowford were also catching debris as designed.

The Environment Agency has released pictures to show Morpeth’s flood defences in operation last week.

Precautionary action was taken by workers from the organisation in the town as a result of the combination of heavy rain and melting snow.

The Hargreaves dam held back water on the Cotting Burn.

The Hargreaves dam held back water on the Cotting Burn.

The flood gates in High Stanners were closed at 9.10am on Tuesday, March 6, and they were re-opened on Wednesday, March 7, at 9am.

A flood alert for the River Wansbeck went out at 8.45am on the Tuesday – it was removed at 8.45am on the Wednesday.

Conditions were very difficult for motorists during this period and roads in the area were either fully or partially closed.

Images issued include the Cotting Burn dam (The Hargreaves dam), the Lowford tree poles and large Mitford dam after the river levels have fallen.

Further debris at the large Mitford dam.

Further debris at the large Mitford dam.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “A combination of heavy rain overnight on the Monday night and melting snow led to river levels rising on the Wansbeck, which resulted in a flood alert being issued and the gates at High Stanners being closed as a precaution.

“The incident room was open throughout and we used the CCTV cameras that we have on the Mitford dam and The Hargreaves dam to monitor the river levels and build-up of debris, with our field teams clearing these when needed.

“You can see from one of the images that The Hargreaves dam was holding back water on the Cotting Burn, while the tree poles at Lowford were also catching debris as designed, preventing this from building up on the bridges in town and restricting the flow of the river.

“I hope being able to see these images reassures residents that the flood defences in the town were working to reduce the risk of flooding during this incident.”

Residents are urged to check their flood risk at www.gov.uk/check-flood-risk to ensure they are signed up to receive free flood warnings.