Northampton

Northampton flood investigation may not reduce risks to homes

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Media captionParts of Northampton were flooded after a two-hour thunderstorm in May

People affected by flooding in May have been told investigations may not lead to changes to stop it happening again.

More than 100 homes and businesses in Northampton were affected after a two-hour thunderstorm left roads swamped.

Letters have been sent out confirming county council investigators will be visiting properties to try to identify causes and make recommendations.

But authorities will not be forced to take any action, and homeowners said it has left them feeling vulnerable.

Image copyright James Hill
Image caption A shopkeeper in Far Cotton sweeps out flood waters

Water levels were several feet deep in places and Michelle Lewis's home in Hardingstone was one of those damaged by flooding.

She said: "We're going to live in our houses and wonder if we're safe when the next big rainfall hits.

"I have bought sandbags because I just need that safety net that nobody else is offering and I want to protect my home."

Mrs Lewis received a letter which said it would be another month before investigators visited "to discuss the flooding incident".

It said: "It is not the responsibility of the Investigating Officer to resolve the flooding, however they will investigate the cause and notify any relevant authority."

Image caption Letters sent out to people affected by the flooding explained the purpose of the investigation

The Briar Hill, Camp Hill, Hardingstone and Wootton areas of the town were also flooded.

Residents told the BBC many road surface drains had been blocked for weeks and reported to Northamptonshire County Council, which is currently being overseen by government commissioners due to its financial problems.

Ian Morris, environment cabinet member at the Conservative-run authority, said: "It's inappropriate to speculate or pre-empt the outcome of the investigations and you have to remember that we have a small flood management team and over 19 investigations to carry out.

"They won't offer any design solutions, but will make recommendations to people like the Environment Agency, that may or may not be able to offer some sort of flood protection."

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