Residents rally round after floods take over in Horncastle

Horncastle flood reservoir. Picture: John Aron.
Horncastle flood reservoir. Picture: John Aron.

The town of Horncastle came to a halt temporarily last week after heavy rainfall saw many streets become submerged in water.

Road closures were put in place by Lincolnshire Police, and reinforced by the Horncastle Neighbourhood Policing Team.

Stanhope Road and Banks Street, in Horncastle, were two of the many roads which were affected.

A local resident has written to the Horncastle News following the flooding - with praise for Horncastle Town Council and the flood defence scheme at Hemingby.

Mr Hutton said: “In the wake of Horncastle’s deluge we may sympathise with those affected by flooding and thank others involved in our safety.

“ It was bad, but it could have been worse.

“Crops needed rain and after last year’s drought we could fear a worsening drought.

“Maybe we should consider what would have happened this year without a Bain Flood Barrier at Hemingby?

“ Anglian Water waded into the fray more than 10 years ago with a titanic £8m+ project for flood protection.

“Our Horncastle Town Council (of the time with foresight) agreed to part fund maintenance of the completed works.

“Any doubt that it was worth the effort?

“I shall not mention those who constantly criticise our council, but someone should at least say thank you once and once again for those who have served our community faithfully.

“We should now drown our sorrows and the misery of extensive floods for many years.

“Thank you Fiona Martin (Mayor) and everyone else involved.”

Horncastle’s multi-million pound flood defence scheme is made up of a reservoir, built near the village of Hemingby, which is designed to hold back excess water from the River Bain.

The reservoir, which can hold 1.5 million cubic metres of water – the same as 600 Olympic-sized swimming pools – will reduce flooding risk to 169 properties in the town.

The water is later released once the threat of flooding has disappeared.

Although many residents were protected from the flooding, some were not so lucky.

Julie Clark launched her business, Thrifty’s - because charity begins at home - last month.

Her business on North Street was subject to flooding on two occassions last week, but Julie failed to let the weather dampen her spirit .

Members of the community were also keen to support those who had been affected by devastating floods in Wainfleet.

Hundreds were told to evacuate their homes as Wainfleet experienced two months worth of rain in just two days.

The Environment Agency’s Ulceby rain gauge showed 132mm of rain between Monday, June 10 and Wednesday, June 12.

To put that into context, the last major event in the local area was in 2007, when Louth and Horncastle were badly affected, after 68mm of rainfall.

Last Thursday, a spokesperson from the EA confirmed: “The flood storage reservoirs at Louth and Horncastle have been operating.

“They are operating as intended and can cope with forecast rain levels, and have undoubtedly prevented many properties flooding.”

Horncastle Community Larder and the Urban Foundation Outreach Project collected donations of toiletries, clothes, sleeping bags and food - which were delivered to residents in Wainfleet over the weekend.

Speaking to the Horncastle News on Monday, Mayor Councillior Fiona Martin said: “Although this is not the first time that the flood elevation scheme on the river Bain has been operational since it was opened, it is the first time it has held water on this scale.

“I am pleased to say that it worked exactly as expected, and as it was designed to do.

“The storage scheme does not have to be manually activated but is self operational once water gets to a certain level.

“Looking at pictures of the amount of water being held back by the scheme, I dread to think what state Horncastle would have been in without it.

“I would like to thank all the agencies and individuals who have contributed both recently and historically, in securing the scheme.

“I would also like to send sympathies from the people of Horncastle to the people of Wainfleet who have been so severely flooded.”