Inquiry launched into Rasen flooding

Market Rasen’s Mayor has welcomed the launch of an inquiry into the flooding which hit the town earlier this month.

Flooding in Oxford Street
Flooding in Oxford Street

As the lead flood agency, Lincolnshire County Council, has launched a Section 19 town-wide inquiry into the flooding on Tuesday August 16, when 83mm of rain fell in the space of four hours.

As a result of the downpour, sections of the town were flooded to knee high, with flood waterentering more than 100 properties and at least nine households were displaced from their homes.

The A631 in Market and Middle Rasen, as well as side roads, atvarious times became impassable because of the depth of flooding.

Mayor, Stephen Bunney, said: “The investigation will concentrate on the events of this August, but to get a true picture of the situation in town, it is important that details of recent historical flooding are included as well.

“Some properties in town have flooded four to six times in the last 20 years.”

The investigation will be determining which of the risk management authorities - Lincolnshire County Council, West Lindsey District Council, LCC Highways, Anglian Water, Environmental Agency, Internal Drainage Board, LCC Fire and Rescue and Lincolnshire Police - had a part to play in the flooding emergency and whether they carried out their roles in a proper manner.

It will also be determining what can be done to mitigate flooding risks in the future.

Coun Bunney has pledged to ensure the investigation determines and recognises the causes and consequences of the flooding, as well as identifying appropriate actions, which are then carried out to help prevent heavy rainfall having such a disastrous effect on the town.

He believes a number of factors played a part in causing the emergency – insufficient and outdated underground infrastructure; servicing/cleaning of drains, gullies etc; surface run off from tarmac areas (Tesco, Station Approach, new roads etc); and too many authorities responsible for the infrastructure, allowing opportunities to ‘pass the buck’, with discussions on who will do the work, who will pay dominating a project and delaying its completion.

There will also be an inquiry in the way that the emergency services responded, and worked together, on the night and the following days.

Coun Bunney added: “There is no doubt that on an individual basis the crews, along with the volunteers from the public, did sterling work and helped to stop the problems from getting a lot worse. The investigation will be more into the setting of joint priorities, actions and communications between the agencies and volunteers. The speed of response and availability of flood defence resources will also be looked into and actions proposed.

"Sadly, some residents reported incidents of car drivers deliberately causing waves of water that entered the properties. These incidents will be subject to a separate inquiry with the town council and police.”