UPDATE: River levels at Wainfleet continue to fall but more storms to come, say Environment Agency

The Environment Agency has reassured residents affected by the floods in Wainfleet that river levels are continuing to fall slowly.

Monday, 17th June 2019, 10:28 pm
The repair to the River Steeping is holding, says the EA

Repairs along the River Steeping are holding and there have been no further breaches.

Occupants of more than 600 properties evacuated during the floods in Wainfleet have been told they may not be able to return to their homes until Thursday. Some stayed with family and friends, while others were directed by officials at emergency centres set up in Wainfleet and Skegness to B&Bs and hotels.

In a bid to protect their homes, 13,000 sand bags filled by volunteers, including children. were used in a massive operation to keep the community safe.

Emergency services and volunteers in Skegness and Wainfleet continued to work tirelessly over the weekend to assist victims and their animals as further weaknesses in the river bank were identified.

The area flooded last Wednesday as two months of rain fell in three days. The Environment Agency have described the situation as 'unprecedented' but yesterday reported the bank repair was holding and "two high capacity ultra-high volume pumps are now at work helping to protect people".

Two RAF Chinook helicopters worked for more than 24 hours dropping 270 tonnes of aggregate to plug a 15 meter gap which appeared when the river burst its bank.

When the job appeared to the done, residents spoke of the emotional moment on Friday evening as a Chinook did a 360 degree turn to say farewell before flying off, only to have to return the next day to drop a further 70 tonnes of aggregate when further weaknesses were identified along the river bank.

Volunteers helped fire crews to clear flood water after it entered the Thorpe Culvert pumping station, putting it at risk of failing.

MP Matt Warman was there to witness the operation. He said: "I’ve spent the day once again in Wainfleet, mostly with the Environment Agency team assembling the country’s largest pumps to take water at Thorpe Culvert bridge from the Steeping into other channels and ultimately out of the area. "This is a huge engineering achievement by a brilliant team, working with great assistance from the local community, police, Fire and Rescue, army and RAF. "There continues to be real risk to life in the area, and those in the flood zone should not expect to be advised it is safe to return home until Thursday. "Local councils are making huge efforts, and will continue to do so, to see people looked after. "Anyone personally affected should contact me via matt.warman.mp@parliament.uk and I will do all I can to help."

The Environment Agency continues to monitor weather conditions very closely as the Met Office predicts further thunderstorms this week. A statement reads: "The picture of how much rain will fall and where will get clearer as the week progresses but we want to reassure you we are keeping a very close eye and are ready to act as needed

"The breach was a result of pressure on the banks from significant rainfall - Lincolnshire was hit by more the twice the monthly rainfall in three days

Visit www.gov.uk/flood to check your flood risk, get the latest alerts and warnings, and get advice on what to do if you’ve been flooded