OBSERVER - Pilot flood scheme to be welcomed, but...

NEWS that the town is taking part in a pilot scheme to detect early signs of flooding is to be welcomed, although some of the comments made at the launch still referred to the town as being in danger.

Boston was chosen for analysis ‘because of its high flood risk and the historic instability of some of its banks, including the embankment chosen for analysis’.

The latter refers to the stretch between the footbridge and the Sluice Bridge which, if memory serves me right, has been breached only once in relatively recent times – very minimally – at the time of the 1953 floods.

All the agencies involved still seem to be of the impression that we are a high risk for flooding, not taking into account the number of dykes, drains and rivers in the area which have, over the years, served us very well at times of high rainfall.

The Haven was very high last week but still was several feet off coming over the top of the bank, and once the tide started going out and the Sluice gates were opened, water in the Witham was soon flowing out to sea.

I assume all this work has to be done as European money may be involved but it does seem a pity that the word of local experts can’t be taken and acted upon.

I was quite amused a week or so ago to read that the Environment Agency, which had put us right at the very top of the list for flooding, had been using maps which did not take into account the varied flood banks and improvements made in the area.

Although not saying they were wrong, it was admitted that this ‘could’ (that word again!) have an effect on their previous statements.

No doubt the insurance companies will have taken full note of this and already will have started reducing their premiums for the immediate future; or probably not, citing the fact that this sort of thing takes time.

Everything involving increases can be done at the touch of a button – but as a reduction should be taking place, this will obviously take a lot longer as so much additional work will have to be done.