Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
More protection against floods needed in Upton
AN Upton-upon-Severn businessman has called for more areas of the town to be protected from flooding.
The town’s £4.4 million flood scheme was praised by Environment Secretary Owen Paterson and West Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin but Al Walker, the manager of Clives Fruit Farm, Upper Hook Road, wants more to be done.
Mr Walker said the farm remained open for business despite being cut off from the town since Wednesday, December 19, and 24 pigs were moved to higher ground But he wants areas such as Hanley Road, which has several businesses on it, protected because floodwater cuts them off in floods.
He said: “Our biggest concern is that the flood defences have protected certain parts of the town but Archimedes wasn’t a fool, water has to go somewhere.
“Are the Environment Agency going to invest in building defences for Countrywide and the Regal Garage? (Hanley Road). Is there any chance of a levee for the outer-lying properties of Upton?”
Anthony Perry, area flood risk manager for the Environment Agency, said the existing defences had worked very well but there were no plans to extend them due to high costs and engineering reasons.
“The town would have been flooded twice in the last two months and access in and out of the town would not have been possible at all without the flood scheme – at a time when businesses would have been reliant on Christmas trade.”
Mr Perry added: “When we carried out the flood scheme for Upton, we did assess the viability of also protecting properties along Hanley Road.
“Unfortunately, due to the high cost of doing this, it was not possible to provide protection to them.” A glass-topped defensive wall on Waterside has defended 64 properties during five different floods since it opened in July, and an earth embankment, flood wall and flood gate in New Street offer further protection.
It is estimated the defences have prevented £1.6 million of damage for each flood.
Water levels peaked at 5.08 metres at the town’s Hanley Road and Rectory Road on New Year’s Eve, with flood warnings for the town removed last Saturday.
l Upton’s flood gates were re-opened on Monday following the recent flooding.
The gates at the bottom of New Street, part of the town’s new £4.5 million defences, have been keeping water at bay over the past few weeks.
But they were re-opened at about 7pm after water levels subsided.
The main B4211 Hanley Road into Upton was re-opened last Saturday.