Cambridgeshire

Bar Hill floods: 'Weeds' contributed to stream overflow

Cars trapped in flooding near the Bar Hill roundabout Image copyright Richard Mayer
Image caption Rescue crews tried to restart cars which had stalled in the flooding at Bar Hill

Residents whose homes were damaged by flash floods last year have spoken of their fears that it could happen again.

Three months' worth of rain fell on Bar Hill in six hours on 8 August, flooding 70 homes and forcing many to move out.

A Cambridgeshire County Council report has now revealed weed- and bramble-filled dykes contributed to the floods when a stream overflowed.

A council said work was planned to clear the waterways to prevent a repeat of the "rare" event.

Image caption Colin Brett with the flood defences he has built around his home

Colin Brett, who has built flood defences around his home, said: "Floods happened in 2001 and then again in 2014 and heavy rain seems to be happening more frequently so is flooding going to be an ongoing problem?"

Wanda Cheesely, who lives in the area with her two sons, had to live in a caravan for three months during the winter.

"People say it is wonderful to move back into your new home but nothing could be further from the truth," she said.

Image caption Wanda Cheesely said the water came in from all directions and crept up the wall

"We're thinking of moving because we're worried it's going to happen again."

The council said it took months to find documents in its archive that established Bar Hill Parish Council was responsible for maintenance of local watercourses.

The parish council said it was working closely with the county council on plans for the watercourses and balancing ponds.

The county council said contractors had been asked to bid for the work.

Sas Pledger, county council business manager for floods and water, said: "The August floods were a very rare event when three months' rain fell in six hours.

"That's a one-in-330-year event and there is a 0.3% chance that it would happen again in any given year."

Image caption Within six hours homes were flooded as the water failed to drain away in blocked watercourses

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