April 18, 2024
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By  CHARLOTTE BANKS

The Environment Agency has begun a thorough investigation into the failure of a flood protection system to prevent damage at homes during the Storm Babet on October 20.

VBA (a joint venture between VolkerStevin and Boskalis, Westminster, Atkins, now AtkinsRealis) completed the Horncastle Flood-alleviation Scheme in Lincolnshire in 2017.

Yesterday (26th October), the EA said that the flood plan was not equipped to handle the amount of water needed when the storm struck because a sluice-gate did not work automatically. The EA said that a “thorough” investigation has been launched while the flood response incident is ongoing.

Leigh Edlin, EA’s area director said that “we are aware of the fact the flood-alleviation program did not reduce the risk as it was intended to.” Our investigation will be continued and we’ll make sure to learn the lessons from it.

This scheme was designed to lower the likelihood of flooding at 169 homes in Horncastle due to the River Bain. Lincolnshire County Council has confirmed that 80 homes were affected by flooding last week.

The reservoir was designed to store 1.5 million cubic meters of water. A large wetland and lake area was also part of the scheme, which provided habitat for water mice.

A similar scheme, built in Louth by VBA as well, worked perfectly during the storm. Both water storage projects were opened 10 years ago, after flooding inflicted 200 homes.

Lincolnshire Councillor Colin Davie stated: “The plan did not function as designed and that, in turn, affected the amount of flooding and number of affected properties.”

I hope that the EA report will leave no stone unturned when it comes to investigating what caused the flooding last week, in order to prevent this happening again. This would save businesses and residents from suffering further pain.

For comment, we contacted VolkerStevin and Boskalis. Westminster. AtkinsRealis.

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