This winter, Morpeth homes and business are better protected than ever from the threat of flooding from the River Wansbeck.
Construction of new flood defences in Morpeth town centre, as part of the multi-million pound flood alleviation scheme, is now complete.
Since early 2013, contractors working on behalf of the Environment Agency and Northumberland County Council have been constructing new defences in the town and improving the existing ones. This has included work at High Stanners to build a new flood wall and embankment along the riverside area to tie in with Oldgate Bridge at one end, and Skinnery Bridge at the other.
Until the £27 million flood alleviation scheme began, residents of High Stanners had no protection against flooding. The new flood wall and 3 new flood gates that make up the flood defence is complete and water tight, and reduces the risk of flooding to homes and businesses in the lowest lying area of the town.
Other areas of the town with a reduced threat of flooding this winter are Crawford Terrace and Middle Greens, the areas around St George’s Church and St Robert’s Church, Pretoria Avenue and Mitford Road.
Flood protection for the whole town will be further improved when the upstream flood water storage is finished. This is expected to be in early 2015.
The upstream dam on the Mitford Estate, which is in its final stages of completion, will work by storing up to 1.4 million cubic metres of water when river levels on the Wansbeck are high and could cause flooding.
Environment Agency Project Manager, Anthony Myatt, said:
Ahead of this Christmas we hope the community is reassured that all the work we have done so far has reduced their risk of flooding. Work to complete the new storage area will continue until the end of February when the whole flood scheme is expected to be in place, weather permitting.
Work is also due to take place next year to reduce the risk of flooding from the Cotting Burn. Although a number of improvements to the in-town defences around the burn have been made since 2008, there is now planning permission in place to create an upstream storage area on the Cotting Burn.