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Louth Drains Struggle Under A Flood Alert

June 13th 2019

the Navigation Canal

The canal at Riverhead

Louth canal

Riverhead

A Kidgate drain

Kidgate

a drain on Church Street

Church Street #1

a drain on Church Street

Church Street #2

a blocked drain on Eastgate

Eastgate #1

a blocked drain on Eastgate

Eastgate #2

a blocked drain on Eastgate

Eastgate #3

a blocked drain on Lacey Gardens

Lacey Gardens

an overflowing drain

Eastfield Road #1

a puddle

Eastfield Road #2 and #3 - there are drains under that puddle

a blocked drain

Eastfield Road #4

a blocked drain

Eastfield Road #5

a full pond

The full attenuation pond on the Ticklepenny Drive estate

a puddle over a blocked drain

Eastfield Road #6

the canal at Ramsgate Road

White water at Ramsgate Road

a blocked drain on the pavement

Ramsgate #1

a blocked drain

Ramsgate #2

On Tuesday 11th June the Environment Agency issued a Flood Alert for Louth Canal and Waithe Beck. This alert continued into Thursday, 13th June.

According to an EA worker I spoke to on Tuesday, surface water was the main cause of Louth's problems, and the flood defences for the River Lud were holding up.

Around the county flooding has been severe, particularly in Horncastle and Wainfleet. In Wainfleet at least 70 properties have been affected by flooding as it had over two months rainfall in two days. Elsewhere in East Lindsey, a number of roads have been closed and rivers broke their banks. In some ways it feels like Louth has escaped the worst.

Nevertheless, Spout Yard Park was closed due to flooding. Throughout the town dozens of drains were blocked as they were unable to cope with the influx of water. I have pictured just a few of those affected here.

Having spent some time taking these photos in the rain, I uploaded many to FixMyStreet, the council's contractor for reporting Highways issues that the county council is responsible for. If you've got reports, you're welcome to do the same.

However, we've been here before. When there was extensive surface water flooding in Louth in April 2018 I took a lot of photos and reported the blocked drains around Louth under the old system, when you could report directly to the county council's website rather than going through FixMyStreet.

There is a big issue with the schedule for gulley cleaning, and the county council aren't addressing it. It used to be done annually, and in Louth that was around June/July. Then, in summer 2018 the county council changed that policy. They decided that they wanted a more reactive schedule, taking note of which drains need regular cleaning and targeting hotspots rather than doing them all at once.

It's a money saving exercise, and the cost to residents is clear: the town is very poorly prepared for inundations, and surface water flooding is far worse than it would otherwise be. Under the old scheme the drains in Louth would have been due for clearing in a few weeks, but at least they would have been cleaned. Now, who knows?

Or rather, these photos of drain after drain blocked up tell their own story. I didn't walk around every single street in Louth in the pouring rain. But it's a pretty damning snapshot of what is wrong with our town's drainage.



 


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