‘It’s now time to raise our riverbank’

News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
News from the Lincs Free Press and Spalding Guardian, spaldingtoday.co.uk, @LincsFreePress on Twitter
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The Environment Agency (EA) is now assessing flood defences in the wake of Thursday’s tidal surge that came within inches of flooding homes at Sutton Bridge.

Parish council chairman John Grimwood said the river level was within six inches of overtopping the West Bank – and he wants to see the riverbank raised to protect people and their homes.

He said: “It appears that the bank this side (west) is lower than the bank the other side.

“If I had my way, we would have the bank built up, seeing how close it came – it’s very concerning.”

The EA says it is carrying out “an ongoing assessment” of its flood defences, which will determine its next steps, but it’s too early to say whether defences at Sutton Bridge will be improved.

As the tide rose, water from the Nene poured out of a drainage valve and cascaded along Lime Street and the EA says it placed eight one-tonne sandbags over the drain and 500 smaller sandbags to protect the area.

Coun Grimwood, fellow parish councillors and residents filled sandbags to put across doorsteps in Lime Street, but didn’t get the key to a district council unit where the sand was kept until teatime.

Parish councillor Jenny Rowe said the parish council should have a key to the unit so it can act straightaway when flooding is threatened.

A South Holland District Council spokesman said the key was handed over at 6pm and an additional eight tonnes of sand were delivered.

The spokesman continued: “We regret the fact that access to the unit has become an issue and have agreed that a copy of the key be cut for future use by Sutton Bridge Parish Council.”

l The district council sent vehicles and men to help Boston’s clean-up operation after the town centre suffered widespread flooding.