Padiham plans future flood defence strategy

Waterside Mews Boxing Day 2015
Waterside Mews Boxing Day 2015

Victims of the devastating Boxing Day floods in Padiham have finally been given vital information about how they can protect their homes from future floods.

Various agencies gathered for an “After the floods information roadshow” at Padiham St Leonard’s Primary School on Wednesday to give advice and collect data regarding the freak weather event.

The Environment Agency, United Utilities, the Flood Advisory Service, Burnley Borough Council and Lancashire County Council were represented.

The Environment Agency estimates that around 80 homes and 40 businesses were hit by the floods which started on Boxing Day after days of persistent rain.

Mum Melissa Barber (32), husband Graham and their three-year-old child Cooper have been forced to live in rented accommodation after their home in Waterside Mews was particularly badly damaged.

She said: “We are looking at being out of our home for four to six months. Our insurance have estimated the damage to be around £24,000.

“We were staying in a hotel for the first few weeks which was a nightmare. Cooper keeps asking about our wet house.

“I spoke to the Environment Agency about our concerns for the future. If the water hadn’t flowed into Padiham town centre on Boxing Day our house would have been under even more water, which could have been a threat to life. Any flood defence schemes need to take this into account.”

Jim Walker, team leader for flood risk management at the Environment Agency, said: “We have advised residents’ where they can seek funding as part of a community group to flood proof their homes.

“We are preparing a flood alleviation scheme for the town but government funding is limited so we are talking to potential partners.

“We will look at the height of walls and embankments and ways of raising low spots to cut off flood water.”