Tuesday, 19 November 2019

Village to have temporary barrier for flooding threat

File picture of local flooding

File picture of local flooding

CHARVIL has been identified as a suitable location for a temporary flood barrier.

The Environment Agency says the move would help protect homes when the River Loddon bursts its banks.

The village was badly affected by flooding following heavy rain in January and February 2014, as were Wargrave and Caversham.

The agency says the temporary barrier is ready to be deployed near Charvil Meadow Road when there is a serious risk of flooding and it will be removed when the danger has passed.

It consists of a portable metal frame with a waterproof covering, which helps reduce the impact of flooding.

The agency says it offers a “practical and affordable” method of tackling the problem and will protect more than five properties from a 3.3 per cent chance of flooding. It does not offer the same standard of protection as a permanent defence scheme.

Temporary flood barriers were used in some areas of the country during the floods in the winter of 2013/2014 and since then the agency has identified more than 150 locations where some form of assistance can be provided.

It has worked with Wokingham Borough Council to develop a protection plan for Charvil.

An Environment Agency spokesman said: “We have carefully assessed the viability of this location. This includes site visits, analysis of historical flooding and river modelling to determine the effects of any future flooding.

“In developing plans for this location, we have spoken to local landowners if the route of the temporary barrier crosses their land and also local residents immediately next to the barrier alignment.

“We cannot guarantee that the barrier will always be deployed and effective in every situation.

“We strongly advise that residents still take action to increase preparedness and reduce the impact of flooding to their properties.

“If the temporary flood barrier is deployed, it will reduce the risk of flooding to homes. Local roads may be closed temporarily during the actual deployment but will be
re-opened once the barrier is up.

“Some residents may find that access for vehicles could be impeded while the barrier is deployed.”

Charvil parish clerk Miranda Parker said: “We had heavy rain back in 2014 and Charvil was very badly flooded. It was going into houses and causing damage.

“I assume this decision has come as a result of that incident. There are houses that are at risk of flooding and if this is going to help then it is something we would welcome. When it rained in 2014, you could have gone out on a boat, it was that bad. The barrier would reduce the likelihood of water getting to the houses and that is what is most important.

“Until we have a flood, we won't know what the implications are, so ideally we will never see it in action.”

Claire Andersen, lead councillor for environment at Charvil Parish Council, said: “There are lots of little rivers running through Charvil so if it overspills it can be a problem. If they think there is a risk of flooding and we can prevent houses from being hit, that must be good news.

“We do have flood wardens in Charvil and volunteers that keep an eye on the situation.”

Residents and businesses near flooding hot spots are advised to take action to be prepared for the risk of it happening. They can do so by putting together a bag of essential items and checking local water levels at gov.uk/check-flood-risk

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