Berkshire

Flooding affects Reading houses despite new defences

Sand bags and pumps were sent to homes in Reading after they flooded on Thursday, despite new flood defences being put in place this year.

In February, Kingsley Close in Whitley was cited as one of the streets to benefit from a £100,000 Reading Borough Council scheme to stop flooding.

The defences were put in place because the area was hit by floods in 2007.

The council is investigating how it happend but said fewer properties had been affected than four years ago.

Further flood alleviation work has also been carried out in the Whitley area as part of the £65m junction 11 improvement scheme.

The junction work, to reduce flooding near the M4, included ditch clearing, pipe cleaning and upgrading of grills around the A33.

It was intended to help protect the whole of the South Reading and Kingsley Close area during heavy rainfall.

'It's devastating'

But Kingsley Close still flooded on Thursday following heavy rain.

"It's devastating. We don't know whether to cry, scream or shout," said resident Shan Silman.

Mrs Silman said that in 2007 her house had been flooded with 8in (20cm) of water.

The flooding was less severe on Thursday, but she said 24 houses in her street were affected.

"Yesterday it came up through the floor, through the bricks and over the front and back steps," she said.

A council spokesman said eight properties in the area had suffered water damage after 60mm of rain fell over a six-hour period (including 30mm in one hour).

"... The number of properties affected on this occasion was significantly fewer than the previous flooding event in 2007, after which the council implemented a flooding risk reduction scheme in the area.

"Council officers were at the scene in Whitley early on the day of the heavy rainfall and provided residents with help, including the distribution of sandbags and pumping equipment. Officers also offered residents alternative accommodation if required."

It said it would work with Thames Water and the Environment Agency to review the effectiveness of flood risk reduction measures.

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