Saturday, December 26, 2009

York looks at organising defences against floods

Mark Branagan in the Yorkshire Post (UK): Nearly 3,000 residents of central York whose homes are at risk of flooding will benefit from a new study designed to help the city council to take the lead in organising defences. York Council is to seek £100,000 Government funding for the project targeting flash flooding, which is expected to be a growing problem in the heart of the city as the climate changes.

At present there are a number of threats to property in the central area and a variety of agencies dealing with them. The aim is to produced a Surface Water Management Plan for York which will show where the areas of responsibility lie to produce a co-ordinated response led by York Council.

Within the central area there are 2,800 properties at risk from flooding. Many are protected from river flooding by defences built in the 1980/90s, designed to withstand a one in 100-year event. The flooding in 2000 came within 50 mm of overtopping the barriers and subsequently it was assessed the chance of it happening again had grown to a one in 80-year event.

Ray Chaplin, York's Head of Engineering Consultancy, said: "Clearly the advent of climate change has modified the perceived protection level of the defences."

…During November 2000 and summer of 2007 many properties and gardens were flooded, although it is suspected some householders kept quiet about the problems because they were worried about not being able to sell their houses….

The River Ouse makes York more duck-friendly in November, 2009, shot by Kevin Bailey, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr, under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 License

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