End to floods nightmare likely to cost millions
Published at 00:00, Monday, 18 December 2006
By Ross Brewster
A LONG-term solution to a Keswick flooding nightmare for one group of residents could run into millions of pounds, warn United Utilities.
People living at Riverside Court, next to the River Greta, have twice had to call on the services of the fire service this week to pump away water from outside their homes.
The same homes were badly hit by the floods in 2005 and the chairman of the Keswick Flood Action Group, Graham Chaplin-Brice, said: “It is an appalling situation.”
Mr Chaplin-Brice, who had to move his own 96-year-old father out of his home at Greta Grove last week, said the problem could all be traced back to the sewage pumping station. The drainage system could not cope.
He is demanding that United Utilities provide emergency cover during the wet weather.
Paul Allen, who lives at Riverside Court, said firefighters had done “a terrific job” in keeping homes safe. “But we are constantly living on our nerves at times of heavy rain,” he added.
Mr Allen, whose family was out of their home for four months after the 2005 floods, this week moved upstairs and sent his children to stay with relatives fearing a repeat.
The fire service says that the problem is caused by over-full drains and the rising water in the nearby river.
However, many residents blame United Utilities and Mr Allen said he had been told the nearby pumping station had not worked since 2005.
Davidson Park, the home of Keswick Rugby Club, and some pitches on the Derwentwater Caravan Site were also flooded last week.
United Utilities say the pumping station dates back to before the houses were built on the Greta flood plain. They are looking to upgrade the network.
But spokeswoman Helen Wilson said any long-term solution would be a multi-million pound project.
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
This week in... 1972Friday, December 15, 1972...
STAFF at five hospitals in the Tynedale area walked out during a strike over pay.
Hexham General, Hexham War Memorial, Haltwhistle War Memorial, Wooley Sanatorium and Prudhoe hospitals, were all affected after the National Union of Public Employees called out their members.
Ancillary staff, including porters, cooks, telephone operators and boilermen joined the 12-hour stoppage with some NUPE members taking part in a protest march in Newcastle.