News story

Emergency riverbank repairs completed

The Environment Agency has successfully completed emergency repairs to tidal defences downstream of Bridgwater, Somerset.

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Engineers were alerted after an 85-metre stretch of raised embankment at Stannington’s Clyce (near Cannington) subsided leaving only the crest of the bank intact. The bank failure occurred close to the point where the Cannington Brook enters the Parrett estuary.

With high tides predicted, the Environment Agency immediately began planning emergency repairs. A field team has been on site since Wednesday (October 21) driving steel piles into the damaged section of riverbank. There was slight delay after the team discovered buried concrete and stone in part of the bank, but piling work resumed and the repairs were finished by Sunday (October 25).

Environment Agency Officer Piers Hooper said:

We are very pleased to have completed these repairs in time for this week’s high tides. The highest is on Wednesday so we’ll have staff closely monitoring the embankment over this period.

These works are a good example of the Environment Agency’s ability to respond quickly to unexpected events. We’ve come up with a temporary solution and will need to carry out permanent repairs to this embankment at some point in the future.

Engineers are investigating the cause of the bank collapse. An initial inspection suggests any further failure along the floodbank is unlikely.

The nearest properties to the repaired section of floodbank are approximately 1km away. The site is surrounded by farmland. The nearest communities are Cannington and Chilton Trinity.

Access to the remote site was made easier through the use of a track that was recently upgraded by the Environment Agency as part of its asset recovery programme.

Stallington’s Clyce is only a short distance from Cannington Bends where work is due to start next year on a £4 million flood protection scheme.

Email Mike Dunning at the Environment Agency for more information.

Published 29 October 2015