Wainfleet flooding: Residents 'can't sleep when it rains'

image source, PA
image captionThe town of Wainfleet in Lincolnshire was flooded in June last year

Residents in a town hit by flooding last summer say they can't sleep whenever it rains, and have called for more to be done to protect them.

Nearly 600 homes in and around Wainfleet, Lincolnshire, were evacuated after heavy rain caused the River Steeping to burst its banks last June.

A recent report found flood defences were not up to modern standards.

It also said the amount of vegetation, silt levels and grazing cattle were all factors.

An independent report into the flooding by Norfolk County Council recommended a number of measures, including replacing the flood embankments and controlling access to riverbanks by cattle.

The report also recommended monitoring silt levels and vegetation growth to establish the benefits regular or one-off dredging could provide.

But, at a meeting to discuss the report's findings, local residents said the lack of dredging was the main issue.

image source, PA
image captionHundreds of homes were evacuated after the equivalent of two months' rain fell in just two days

Stuart Peltell, chairman of the local flood action group, said: "We are adamant the river would have coped if it had been dredged out.

"The priority is to get the silt out and maintain the system."

Others said they were terrified every time it rains.

Local councillor Wendy Bowkett added: "The stress it causes is unbelievable.

"We cannot live like this any more. Residents need to be able to sleep at night."

Peter Riley, operations manger with the Environment Agency, said there was "an element of truth" in the claims about dredging.

However, he said it needed to be targeted at particular locations.

He said the agency would use the report's findings as the basis for "our plans going forward".

image source, EPA
image captionThe RAF dropped hundreds of tonnes of ballast to plug a breach in the river bank

According to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, an action plan will be put before Lincolnshire County Council's flood committee in May.

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