The ArgusSandbags out as Patcham braces itself for floods (From The Argus)

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Sandbags out as Patcham braces itself for floods

The Argus: Patrick and Carol O'Brien and their sandbags Patrick and Carol O'Brien and their sandbags

Patcham is today bracing itself for heavy rainfall and gale force winds – as water sits just centimetres from flooding homes.

Residents are preparing for the onset of creeping groundwater as they lay down sandbags, move out furniture and position pumps to protect their properties.

Terry Mills, assistant manager of The Black Lion in London Road, said: “It is no longer a question of if, it is a question of when.

“We have to check our cellar hourly.”

The Met Office yesterday issued severe weather warnings starting from today for 80mph winds. Up to 60mm of rain is forecast to fall from tomorrow afternoon until Saturday evening as one of the wettest ever starts to a year continues.

At 6.30am today, the level of groundwater in Patcham sat at 43.7 metres above ordnance datum (AOD).

The council said the rate of rise had fallen from yesterday, but the levels are still on the up – and at 45 metres basements begin to flood.

The rising water levels sparked a public meeting at Patcham’s Memorial Hall on last night, organised by the city council.

Amid information and advice about what to do before, during and after flooding, residents said more should be done to protect their homes.

Councillor Geoffrey Theobald OBE said agencies “must get this problem under control”.

He added: “This flooding keeps happening. First it was supposed to be once every hundred years. That then became once every 50 years, then it almost happened last year and now again.”

The Environment Agency advises residents to check flood warning messages, to pack a flood kit containing all essential emergency items and important personal documents, and to turn off gas, water and electricity to reduce the risk of injury.

Travel problems are expected throughout Sussex, with Southeastern advising passengers of possible disruptions, as trains are advised to run at reduced speeds.

Comments (5)

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1:53pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Valerie Paynter says...

Has Cllr Theobald got any constructive ideas for how to protect that area from exceptional rising groundwater levels in exceptional and unstoppable times of high rainfall? What COULD be done? And at what cost? Does he know?
Has Cllr Theobald got any constructive ideas for how to protect that area from exceptional rising groundwater levels in exceptional and unstoppable times of high rainfall? What COULD be done? And at what cost? Does he know? Valerie Paynter
  • Score: 1

1:55pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Withdean-er says...

Those sandbags should prevent basements from flooding from a rising water table. Therefore well done to the 'agencies' and emergency meetings held by important people. Did Simon Hew Dalrymple Fanshawe and Tony Mernagh attend? - they do almost everything else.

Cllr.Theobald is angry about the water table rising more than it should every century - hasn't it crossed his mind that that was just a statistical average, and that climate change may have resulted in Britain becoming wetter over the long term.
Those sandbags should prevent basements from flooding from a rising water table. Therefore well done to the 'agencies' and emergency meetings held by important people. Did Simon Hew Dalrymple Fanshawe and Tony Mernagh attend? - they do almost everything else. Cllr.Theobald is angry about the water table rising more than it should every century - hasn't it crossed his mind that that was just a statistical average, and that climate change may have resulted in Britain becoming wetter over the long term. Withdean-er
  • Score: -5

3:17pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Ohnotagain ! says...

Has Andy Walker only got 1 sandbag ?
Has Andy Walker only got 1 sandbag ? Ohnotagain !
  • Score: 4

3:34pm Wed 5 Feb 14

Richada says...

I would like to know why, at a meeting that went on for an hour, with many high-level authority representitives addressing the residents, only ONE speaker - i.e. Cllr Theobold - was quoted here.

Many B&HCC departments were involved, Southern Water, the Fire Service, the Environment Agency and most importantly, local expert David Harris - who did have all the facts and figures at his finger tips.

This report gives an extremely "skewed" view of the proceedings last night and minimises a highly complex problem that, apart from causing utter mysery for those who live in Patcham Village, has the clear potential to cause repercussions, particularly in terms of transport, throught the city.

The council, in conjuncion with the other authorites (including the fire sevice) are doing everything they can to stop sewerage contaminating the rising groundwater - which, in a few days (unless the forecasts are completely wrong) is likely to break above surface. Apart from the very obvious environmental impact, keeping the sewerage flowing will offer residents some normality as far as hygene provisions are concerned.

Exacerbating the rising goundwater level is that there is a specific problem with the sewer capacity under the Old London Road, this has been an ongoing issue for the last decade or more, one which Cllr Theobold did quote as requiring an estimated £14M to solve.

For those sufficiently interested here is the link to the Environment Agency map showing the likely affected area:

http://maps.environm
ent-agency.gov.uk/wi
yby/mapFromCMSCodes?
topic=fwa&lang=_e&co
des=065FAG017&layerG
roup=2

And yes, the main A23, outside the Black Lion, does run right through the middle of the potentially affected area, but, as was stated by several council officers last night, there is nothing that you can do to prevent a river from forming once the groundwater level rises above the level of the ground.
I would like to know why, at a meeting that went on for an hour, with many high-level authority representitives addressing the residents, only ONE speaker - i.e. Cllr Theobold - was quoted here. Many B&HCC departments were involved, Southern Water, the Fire Service, the Environment Agency and most importantly, local expert David Harris - who did have all the facts and figures at his finger tips. This report gives an extremely "skewed" view of the proceedings last night and minimises a highly complex problem that, apart from causing utter mysery for those who live in Patcham Village, has the clear potential to cause repercussions, particularly in terms of transport, throught the city. The council, in conjuncion with the other authorites (including the fire sevice) are doing everything they can to stop sewerage contaminating the rising groundwater - which, in a few days (unless the forecasts are completely wrong) is likely to break above surface. Apart from the very obvious environmental impact, keeping the sewerage flowing will offer residents some normality as far as hygene provisions are concerned. Exacerbating the rising goundwater level is that there is a specific problem with the sewer capacity under the Old London Road, this has been an ongoing issue for the last decade or more, one which Cllr Theobold did quote as requiring an estimated £14M to solve. For those sufficiently interested here is the link to the Environment Agency map showing the likely affected area: http://maps.environm ent-agency.gov.uk/wi yby/mapFromCMSCodes? topic=fwa&lang=_e&co des=065FAG017&layerG roup=2 And yes, the main A23, outside the Black Lion, does run right through the middle of the potentially affected area, but, as was stated by several council officers last night, there is nothing that you can do to prevent a river from forming once the groundwater level rises above the level of the ground. Richada
  • Score: 4

6:58pm Wed 5 Feb 14

InsiderintheEA says...

Inside the Environment Agency have been exposing the failings of the Environment Agency for going on a year now: http://www.insidethe
environmentagency.co
.uk - others have been exposing these failings for much longer.
Inside the Environment Agency have been exposing the failings of the Environment Agency for going on a year now: http://www.insidethe environmentagency.co .uk - others have been exposing these failings for much longer. InsiderintheEA
  • Score: 0

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