Report reveals flood findings

Members of the Gregg family fill a skip with ruined contents of their business, Cunningham Jewellers on Chapel Street, Lancaster, after the December 2015 floods.  PIC BY ROB LOCK 7-12-2015
Members of the Gregg family fill a skip with ruined contents of their business, Cunningham Jewellers on Chapel Street, Lancaster, after the December 2015 floods. PIC BY ROB LOCK 7-12-2015

Major flooding is likely to happen again in future but we are now much better prepared for it.

These were the findings of a Lancashire County Council report into last December’s floods which saw the River Lune break its banks and many homes and businesses severely damaged.

The report is the first step in making public the findings of investigations into how the county’s communities were flooded and how future flooding risks can be managed.

It says: “A hard message to give is that if all normal drainage systems were to be overwhelmed again then it is likely that flooding would again occur.” But the report also lists many changes made since Storm Desmond battered our district. They include:

*Hundreds of households have signed up to receive direct flood warnings from the Environment Agency

*New Flood Action Groups have formed in communities

*Better communication and information from the county council during and 
after a flood event

*Flood Resilience Grants have been used to improve property-level defences

*A new insurance scheme for domestic properties known to be at risk of flooding

“The impacts of future flooding will be significantly less than they were after December 2015, even in advance of any major investment in works, thanks to the efforts of many people, communities and organisations that were affected by the December floods,” says the report.

More detailed information is expected to be published soon.

County Councillor Marcus Johnstone, cabinet member for environment, planning and cultural services, said: “The December floods were unprecedented in their severity and extent, affecting more than 200 communities across the county and causing untold distress to homeowners, disruption to businesses and damage to critical infrastructure.

“Those agencies with responsibility for managing the risk of flooding have been working very hard together, as the Lancashire Flood Risk Partnership, to understand how each individual flooding incident happened and to take action to manage or reduce the risk of it happening again. This report starts the process of sharing the results of that work, ensuring that people are fully informed about plans for their communities.”