Call for action over Alconbury flooding

PUBLISHED: 12:14 28 December 2017 | UPDATED: 12:46 28 December 2017

FLOOD: Alconbury Weston ford pictured by Joe Ward

FLOOD: Alconbury Weston ford pictured by Joe Ward

There have been calls for further action over flooding at Alconbury Weston after a number of residents where marooned in their homes by the rapid rise of water in Alconbury Brook.

Flood waters at the Dolphin Hotel in St Ives froze overnight. Picture: ALAN DAVIS Flood waters at the Dolphin Hotel in St Ives froze overnight. Picture: ALAN DAVIS

Alconbury Weston and the Alconbury area sees regular floods and homes have been inundated over the years, with a £400,000 flood protection scheme opening in 2011.

But Joe Ward, who has lived near the ford at Alconbury Weston for four years, said more needed to be done to protect homes.

“There are questions to be asked. It happens so regularly we need to know what has gone wrong,” he said. “I’m one of the lucky ones. My home has never been flooded but my neighbours have been flooded and it is heartbreaking.”

Mr Ward said he and his wife had been woken by a flood warning at about 4.30am, advising that vehicles and livestock should be moved to higher ground.

Flood waters at the Dolphin Hotel in St Ives froze overnight. Picture: ALAN DAVIS Flood waters at the Dolphin Hotel in St Ives froze overnight. Picture: ALAN DAVIS

“We didn’t think much of it but we never got the vehicle off the drive because it came up so quickly. We had to stay in all day.”

Mr Ward said he bought the house having been told that it did not flood, but had been aware of flooding issues in the community and had seen neighbours’ homes flood.

He said 17 homes had been inundated in one flood and the cost of putting the damage right must make it worth a more substantial flood protection scheme which would also benefit other communities.

Mr Ward said that in September the brook had been contaminated with sewage which Anglian Water pumped out.

He questioned whether something, such as major work on the A1, was having an impact on flooding, adding: “Something has got to be done.”

The environment Agency put out a series of flood alerts, including Alconbury and Ellington Brooks, the River Kym and its tributaries, Bury Brook and the Middle Level in the Fens.

It said it had staff out monitoring river levels and checking for and clearing blockages.

A number of drivers were caught out by the rapidly rising water at the Dolphin Hotel’s riverside car park in St Ives which is designed to flood and where part of the building is on stilts. Vehicles get trapped regularly in the car park, especially at holiday periods.

There have also been surface water flooding issues on the new roundabouts on the A1198 near Godmanchester being built as part of the A14 upgrade and the car park at Godmanchester Co-op was closed after it flooded and froze over.

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