Lancaster families still not home after Storm Desmond

Susan Millward sent this photo of firemen giving her children a ride whilst evacuating the flats on lower St Georges Quay on Sunday.
Susan Millward sent this photo of firemen giving her children a ride whilst evacuating the flats on lower St Georges Quay on Sunday.

Lancaster residents and businesses have still not been able to return to their properties nearly a year after Storm Desmond.

Lancaster City Council’s overview and scrutiny committee heard that a “complex set of circumstances centring around three causes” led to the devastating floods in the city on December 5 last year.

Aftermath of the unprecedented flooding over the weekend in Lancaster.
The storage cellars of Fireplace Warehouse near Skerton Bridge were completely inundated, destroying approximately �20,000 of stock.
Owner Bob Whitehead with some of the ruined stock.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
7-12-2015

Aftermath of the unprecedented flooding over the weekend in Lancaster. The storage cellars of Fireplace Warehouse near Skerton Bridge were completely inundated, destroying approximately �20,000 of stock. Owner Bob Whitehead with some of the ruined stock. PIC BY ROB LOCK 7-12-2015

These were the inability of surface water to escape into the river Lune, overflow from the River beyond Skerton Weir and flood waters escaping from the Millrace, an underground flood protection system in Damside Street.

At the end of October, out of the 225 households affected by the flooding 28 households are still not able to return to their homes.

Of the 212 businesses affected, 19 are still not in operation, 22 are partially operational and six have permanently closed or moved out of the Lancaster district.

In total, £154,000 of Community Support Grants have been paid to eligible households, while £27,000 has been given to businesses.

Aftermath of the unprecedented flooding over the weekend in Lancaster.
Members of the Gregg family fill a skip with the ruined contents of their business, Cunningham Jewellers on Chapel Street.  PIC BY ROB LOCK
7-12-2015

Aftermath of the unprecedented flooding over the weekend in Lancaster. Members of the Gregg family fill a skip with the ruined contents of their business, Cunningham Jewellers on Chapel Street. PIC BY ROB LOCK 7-12-2015

Lancashire County Council as the Lead Flood Authority has been working with the Environment Agency to assess projects which need to be developed to respond to the major flooding incidents in the district. City council officers have also been made aware that Electricity North West is proposing to invest around £2m in modifying the electricity substation at Caton Road to ensure that it can withstand a much greater threat from storm damage than it did last December.

At Warton where flooding from the River Keer affected homes on Gardener Road the Environment Agency has been repairing damage along the river course and has

been undertaking dredging works. A number of discussions are taking place between land owners, local residents and the Environment Agency about potential new ways to manage the flood plain in this area to examine whether this might help with future flooding incidents.

At Slyne where flooding occurred during Storm Eva the county council is considering the very complex and historic flooding land drainage issues which cause this flooding and what further steps if any can be taken to mitigate the collection of water from run off.

Plans to address future flooding in the city, including repairs and improvements to the Millrace, and a new flood wall in Caton Road, hope to tap in to an extra £350million which has been allocated by the Government to address the need to improve flood defences.