Flood alert at Bourne but drains are coping

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Drainage board engineers in the Spalding area are confident residents have nothing to fear in spite of flash flood warnings across the county.

An amber flood alert was put in place in Bourne after Wednesday’s heavy rainfall.

Bourne relief road and South Street

Bourne relief road and South Street

But work carried out by the Welland and Deeping Internal Drainage Board clearing drain banks has protected the area from any serious threat of flooding.

Between 20mm and 40mm of rain fell on Wednesday causing tributaries to rise and a flood warning across the area.

At one point the A15 at Northorpe, near Bourne, was nearly closed by Lincolnshire highways authority because of surface water, but was left open because it was safe to pass with care.

With the likelihood of more rain to come through until December, agencies are keeping a close watch on the situation.

Earlier this month the Environment Agency warned of an increased risk of flooding following an ususually wet summer.

The wettest April to June on record, and further wet weather in July, September and October, has left river levels full and ground waters in some areas exceptionally high.

Flooding from surface water – where the amount of rainfall overwhelms the drainage network – is more likely as the ground is already saturated.

Nick Morris, assistant engineer at the drainage board, said: “It’s always best to be aware of the situation and we do keep an eye on extreme weather warnings that might affect us.

“Our job is to make sure water can run off the fields into the drains so we can pump it into rivers and it can flow out to sea.

“Last year this time we were in a drought situation so we can’t compare it with now.

“But this year we are running about how you should expect it to be at this time of the year.

“It’s a bit like a big bath - we evacuate the water so it can run off the farmland, into the drains and away. It’s been working like this for hundreds of years so we are well practised at dealing with it.”

Residents can sign up for free flood warnings on the Environment Agency website at www.environment-agency.gov.uk

Sarah Jackson, the Met Office’s chief adviser, said: “There is going to be heightened risk of flooding.

“We recommend that everyone keeps up-to-date with the latest forecasts and warnings in periods of wet weather to be prepared.”