Wainfleet flooding: County council promises inquiry

Aerial view of town Image copyright PA
Image caption The River Steeping burst its banks after the equivalent of about two months' rain fell in two days

An independent review is to be held into flooding which led to hundreds of people being forced out of their homes.

Heavy rainfall caused the River Steeping to burst its banks at Wainfleet in Lincolnshire on 12 June.

About 580 homes were evacuated, with some people not expecting to be able to return for months.

One resident said the floods had "absolutely devastated" his family and he wanted to make sure it "will never happen again".

About half of the residents who had to leave were allowed to return to their properties on Friday and emergency planners have since begun a recovery process, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Image caption A clean-up was also needed at nearby Thorpe St Peter

Lincolnshire County Council leader Martin Hill said: "I'd like to reassure residents that we will have an independent review to find out what happened and what needs to be done to protect [Wainfleet] in the future.

"We are committed to investing in our flood and water management in the county, reducing the risk of flooding for our residents."

Ashley Dolman, who lives on Matt Pit Court in the town, said he felt helpless when the water began to rise.

He said: "All we want to hear is how they will prevent the River Steeping from bursting its banks in the future.

"I don't want to sit around, so I'm happy to help my landlord out to fix the home and get my family back here."

Image copyright Jean Hart
Image caption Wainfleet resident Jean Hart posted a picture of the flood waters in her bathroom

The council, which is the lead local flood authority, had an under-spend of £96,000 on its flood management budget last year.

Officials said this was because the budget is for response spending, and just 21 flood incidents were recorded in 2018-19.

An equivalent of around two months' worth of rain fell over two days in the village, leaving about 1,000 people out of their homes.

Some have since returned to start the clean-up and rebuild their lives, while others are not expecting to return home for another six to eight months.

A meeting at the Coronation Hall in the town will take place on 4 July to the discuss the causes and the recovery operation.

Image copyright Environment Agency
Image caption Repairs have started on the collapsed river bank

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