Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Neasham flood defences stood up to recent storms
10:47am Thursday 4th October 2012 in News
NEW flood defences aimed at protecting homes in a Darlington village stood the test during the recent deluge as water levels reached a record high.
The defences, built in Neasham, which is located on the River Tees where it meets Kent Beck, stood up to last Tuesday’s downpours and protected the village’s 96 homes from flooding.
The flood defence scheme, carried out by the Environment Agency, included the rebuilding of Kent Beck Bridge to improve the flow of water, and raised the existing defences.
At a meeting of Neasham Parish Council on Monday, chairman John Weighell praised the work by the Environment Agency after last week saw the highest water levels ever recorded in the village.
He said: “The water level was 20cm over the level of the old bridge parapet so one can only imagine how the Teesway would have been without the new protection.
“It was frightening the height the water got to.”
The village remained dry until mid-afternoon, when water pressure lifted a drainage inspection cover, sending water along Teesway into a low-lying garage.
Councillor Weighell said: “Luckily the fire brigade came to our rescue and pumped water back into the River Tees for almost 20 hours.”
Work to the defences have almost been completed under the £3.6m budget, with almost £2m leftover to pay for other projects in the area.
The scheme was due for completion in December last year but was affected by delays.
Paul Constantine, flood management team leader at the Environment Agency, said: "We are really pleased with how the new defences worked last week.
“The Yorkshire region received a huge amount of rainfall and this tested our river defences significantly in many locations across the region.
“The new defences in Neasham have meant a lot of work over the past year and this caused some disruption to local residents, so I am sure they are also pleased that the development was completed this summer and helped to protect homes from flooding."
Residents can get advice on how to prepare for flooding, and sign up to the Environment Agency's flood warning service by calling 0845-988-1188.