Sandbags at the ready as sea gate repairs pose flooding risk in Lancaster village

Households in a Lancaster village may need to collect sandbags to protect their homes and property this week – as flood prevention work is stepped up.
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Residents in Glasson Dock will be given sandbags and flood defence advice if high tides cannot be controlled at the port’s inner dock, where a hydraulic sea gate is broken.

Sandbags will be left at different parts of Glasson tomorrow, August 31 if the gate cannot be closed following tests and work with a winch.

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Glasson Dock has been in the news this summer with major engineering challenges over the broken port sea gate – and also a leaking canal lock at nearby Glasson Marina.

Repair work under way at Glasson Dock.Repair work under way at Glasson Dock.
Repair work under way at Glasson Dock.

Repair work has been under way at the inner dock recently with cranes, engineers and barriers.

An Environment Agency letter states: “The Environment Agency plans to install a temporary winch so it can close the gate when flooding is forecast. The agency has prioritised this work so the winch will be in place and tested on August 31, before the next high tide on September 1 and 2.

“The agency will leave the gate closed after the test even if flooding is unlikely. This is to allow it to carry out work which cannot be done when the gate is open. We expect this work to take four to five days and then we will open the gate again. There will be no boat access in or out of the port once the gate is closed on August 31 until it is reopened.”

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Repairs under way on flood defence gate at Lancaster port
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People may see the gate opening and closing during this period for adjustments to water levels on either side, the agency says.

The letter adds: “In the unlikely event that the gate cannot be closed, the Environment Agency plans to leave sandbags at various locations for residents to collect and use.”

Agency staff will also to be deployed at Glasson Dock on Thursday. They will call at properties in the flood warning area if the gate cannot be closed, letting people know where sandbags are and giving flood resilience advice. If the winch test work is a success, agency staff will not visit homes.

The agency plans to put out a further message on Twitter, now called X, on Thursday.

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The letter adds: “The winch will remain in place until the gate is repaired and can be operated as normal. The winch will allow the agency to close the gate whenever needed, based on flood forecasts.”

It adds: “The Environment Agency is working with the Port of Lancaster, who own and operate the gate, so it can be operated as normal. If the gate mechanism can be repaired, work will take approximately 12 weeks to complete, If a new mechanism is needed, it is likely to be approximately eight months before the work is complete.”

For further Glasson flood risk information, residents can email: [email protected]

Meanwhile, the public consultation on Lancaster Port Commission’s harbour revision order runs until September 6. This is being run by a government linked body, the national Marine Management Organisation. Details include proposed land and property development powers, byelaws and fine power, and environmental dredging work. Full details, maps and plans can be seen at the organisation’s website.