Flooding hotspots in Suffolk top 700
PUBLISHED: 05:25 28 May 2019 | UPDATED: 09:53 28 May 2019
Sarah Lucy Brown
The number of flooding hotspots in Suffolk stands at more than 700 - significantly higher than first thought by the council’s highways improvement board.
In a recent report, councillor Mary Evans - Suffolk County Council's cabinet member for highways, transport and rural affairs - said that more than 250 flooding locations across the county had been successfully tackled since the formation of Suffolk's drainage team in 2016.
However, she said more than 700 are still outstanding, much higher than was originally identified by highway officers.
Mrs Evans said tackling flooding hotspots was a complicated issue, as it can be costly and time consuming undertaking the investigations and planning necessary to solve the problems.
She said: "The drainage team prioritises its work to focus on cases where people's property gets flooded.
"I think we would all agree that should be our first priority.
"The cases at the bottom of the list are relatively minor cases of surface water flooding on minor roads.
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"However, I do know when the specialist drainage team sees an opportunity to pick up and solve a simple flooding problem while other highways works are going on at a flooding site they do take it."
Mrs Evans added it is a highly specialist work where it is often difficult to recruit staff.
She said: "We have experienced engineers working in the drainage team who do a fantastic job.
"I have seen in my own local area what a difference they make.
"Our team use historical highways reports and records, their local knowledge and investigations to assess often complex and long-running problems.
"One of the challenges, of course, for the team is that their work will so often involve requiring the road to be closed so they can work safely.
"When they open up the road it can be difficult to work round the other services running underground such as water, gas and electrical pipes and ducts.
"I am very pleased that we have recently been able to tackle the long running flooding on Compiegne Way, Bury St Edmunds which routinely flooded every time there was heavy rain.
"We hired in a specialist team to clear the filtration tanks alongside the road."