THE Environment Agency seems to have made its decision to build the existing wall along Godmanchester Causeway a foot higher as part of its proposed flood defences. Councillor Mike Shellens seems to disagree with this decision (Letters, March 25). Having
THE Environment Agency seems to have made its decision to build the existing wall along Godmanchester Causeway a foot higher as part of its proposed flood defences. Councillor Mike Shellens seems to disagree with this decision (Letters, March 25).
Having spent 36 years of my life of work on maintenance and flood relief on the River Ouse, I cannot understand why the powers-that-be think that the Ouse is going to flood at Godmanchester.
There is much talk of saving 500 properties from flooding. Although I keep asking where these houses are, no one seems to want to tell us. Why?
I ask myself whether the powers-that-be are hell-bent on destroying this beautiful stretch of water that has been there for hundreds of years without being a threat to the ancient borough of Godmanchester. People come from all over the country to admire this particular feature of the town.
During my years working on the river I had the pleasure of meeting people from all over the world who spent holidays sailing on the Ouse and particularly admired the Causeway and the wonderful Chinese bridge.
If a flood bank were erected all the way round the borough, it would not stop properties from flooding. During the last flow of water down the Ouse, the meadows along The Avenue were flooded, but not because the river had overflowed: the water had come up from the ground. The road junction in Lancaster Way also flooded, as did some of the residents' gardens. This was because of seepage through the ground and water backing up through the drains.
When I was at school, I was taught that water will always find its own level. In those circumstances, any land lower than the river level will flood regardless.
It is most unlikely that we shall ever see another 1947 flood. That, as far as I know, is the only time Godmanchester has flooded.
At local elections I have always voted for candidates that I thought would preserve and protect our ancient borough. It appears that I have been wasting my time, as none of them seems interested in saving the wonderful water feature of Godmanchester.
As a one-time water-man, I have often criticised the Environment Agency, but in this case I commend its choice of option. I sincerely hope it will play its part in keeping the river free of debris, as we did in the past.
WILLIAM E BROWN