March 10 2014 Latest news:
Monday, February 10, 2014
A £1m emergency fund to tackle the stretches of road most prone to flooding across Essex has been launched.
Essex County Council yesterday announced it is releasing the money, so urgent work can be carried out on 60 of the county’s most vulnerable roads in the wake of the wet weather this year.
It has asked the 12 district, borough and city councils in Essex to each identify the top five worst flooding points in their area, so swift action can be taken to clear culverts, empty and jet gullies, and remove debris.
Cabinet member for highways and transportation, Rodney Bass, is also calling on the emergency services, drainage authorities, landowners, water authorities, rangers and the Environment Agency to play their part in helping to clear up these flooding hotspots.
“Essex has experienced the longest sustained period of wet weather for many years,” he said.
“I very much welcome the additional emergency support of £1m that will go some way to alleviating the roadside flooding we are experiencing. Investing resources sensibly in this way also prevents future flooding. I hope partner agencies will follow our initiative to ensure an effective response at the worst points of flooding.”
He added: “We are calling on each of our 12 districts to identify the five worst flooding hotspots on the road network by the end of this week, so that we can begin this emergency operation, with their support, and try to deal with 60 flooding hotspots across Essex.”
Last night, officials in councils across north Essex said they were working to identify the roads most prone to flooding in their area.
A spokesman for Colchester Borough Counci said it is “finding out which are the five areas in the borough worst affected by flooding in time to inform Essex County Council by Friday as they have requested”.
She added: “Over the last few days, the council has delivered sandbags to homes and businesses in Dedham, Langham, West Mersea and Wakes Colne at the request of residents concerned about possible flooding.”
At Tendring District Council, cabinet member for environment, Nick Turner, welcomed the additional funding and said the council was working to identify the areas that would benefit most from the money.
At Braintree District Council, cabinet member, Wendy Schmitt, added: “There are a number of areas, especially in the more rural parts of the district which have suffered flooding over the past few days, and we are currently assessing where this funding would be best allocated.”
Following the last bout of flooding on Friday, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service reported that it had been called to around 130 incidents throughout the day – the vast majority in the west of the county. But crews were also sent to floods in Braintree and Wethersfield.
Primary schools in Toppesfield and Wethersfield were closed while there was extensive flooding across roads in Castle Hedingham, Finchingfield, Great Yeldham and Steeple Bumpstead.