Laxey floods: New river wall will be 'sealed and watertight'

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Flooding in LaxeyImage source, IOM POLICE
Image caption,
A river burst its banks leading to severe flooding in Laxey

An access gate in a riverside wall built after major flooding on the Isle of Man will be "sealed and watertight", the Infrastructure Minister said.

Ray Harmer said he wanted to "reassure everybody" about the design of the replacement wall along the Laxey River.

Several homes were flooded when the river burst its banks on 1 October.

The gate would "act as part of the wall" and allow maintenance work that will prove invaluable in combating future flooding, Mr Harmer added.

Giles Ackerley, whose house was one of those affected last autumn, said he was still concerned that the gate could be breached.

"By having this access gate we will not feel as safe as we should do," he added.

Image caption,
Laxey local Andrew Smith said residents were still apprehensive

Fellow resident Andrew Smith said there was "still a lot of apprehension" among locals and he was not yet "convinced" by the gate.

He added, however, that work carried out since the flooding was "commendable" and that the government "accepts that it is the consequence of many years of lack of maintenance".

About 600 tonnes of debris was removed in the immediate aftermath.

Work to replace the existing wall with a steel-reinforced concrete structure began at the end of October and the gate, which was ordered last month, is expected to be installed in about 10 weeks' time.

Mr Harmer said preventing future flooding was "very complex" but ensuring access for maintenance was vital.