Flood devastation as villagers are forced to clear drains with their bare hands

Flooding in Buckden on Friday June 18 

Flooding in Buckden on Friday June 18 - Credit: Catherine Keating

A petition has been launched to clear drains in Buckden after the village suffered more flooding over the weekend.  

Rebecca Douglas, a resident of Buckden has launched the petition which asks Cambridgeshire County Council to clear the drains, after the village was hit again by heavy flooding.  

On Friday, June 18, heavy rainfall hit Buckden and residents frantically had to clear water by many means including using paddling pool pumps, filling up green bins and dragging them down Buckden High Street.  

Flooding in Buckden 

Flooding in Buckden - Credit: Catherine Keating

Catherine Keating, a resident in Buckden who is still living in temporary accommodation after her house was flooded in December said: “After more flooding on Buckden High Street and with us fighting for hours to save our houses, our neighbour has kindly produced this petition.  

“We had managed to reduce water by many means including using paddling pool pumps, filling up green bins and dragging them down the street.  

“We swept water into drains and even got our hands into drains to clear them.  

“There are many reasons for this, including drains being root bound, a broken pump in the underpass on the A1 and water running off the A1 and pooling on the High Street. 

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“We are still not home. If it wasn’t for ourselves and the community, our homes would have been lost again.  
“We cannot live in fear any longer. We have jobs, lives and families. Please can everyone help us by signing and sharing this.” 

Rebecca Douglas, has already received hundreds of signatures on her petition.

Back in December 23, heavy rain hit Buckden and Rebecca’s house was wrecked by flooding.  

She and her family, including her newborn baby, had to flee their home and she described it as an “absolute nightmare.” 

Rebecca discovered in December the flooding had been caused by tree roots that had caused blockages in the drains in the street. 

She and her family had to spend Christmas with friends dealing with endless calls to insurance companies.

Speaking about Friday's flooding, Rebecca said: “When the torrential rain happens in the village, the drains just can't cope and that is when the problems happen. 

“We have had no contact whatsoever from the council, back in January this year we got a response from them saying they will look into it, but as far as I am aware no one has looked into it.  

“If they have no one has communicated with us or the parish council about what has been done.  

“We have had an independent drainage expert come into the properties to assess the drainage themselves.  

“They are going to provide us with an independent report, Anglia Water were also there today [Monday] looking at what they think might be the issues.

"All the drains are full of gunk and they need to be cleaned."

A Cambridgeshire County Council spokesperson said: “Our highways team has been clearing a number of drains in Buckden since December, 156 in total including 18 in the High Street and 37 in Lucks Lane.

 “Following survey work by engineers, we believe some of the issue lies with the culvert which runs under the High Street and alongside Taylors Lane.

"We plan to jet this culvert and survey the drainage system at the same time which will tell us if there are any additional problems, including damage and tree roots.

"We are currently working with our contractor, Milestone Infrastructure, to finalise and programme the work, as soon as we have the date confirmed we will let residents know.

 “We’re also looking into who owns the ditch alongside Taylors Lane as that needs maintenance and is taking some of the water which runs off from the A1.

 “We are determined to increase the county’s resilience to flooding through our new community flood action programme and we’ll continue to work with partners and residents.”

To view the petition go to: you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/buckden-flooding?