Gallery: Village anger at lack of flood warning
PUBLISHED: 15:04 10 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:54 06 May 2010
AN OFFICIAL complaint has been made to the Environment Agency over its failure to warn villagers of the threat of flooding this morning (Tuesday). Parish and district councillor for Colney Heath, Chris Brazier, has lodged the complaint after learning tha
AN OFFICIAL complaint has been made to the Environment Agency over its failure to warn villagers of the threat of flooding this morning (Tuesday).
Parish and district councillor for Colney Heath, Chris Brazier, has lodged the complaint after learning that flood warnings for the River Colne had been issued to neighbouring London Colney but not his village.
He said this week: "If you put out one warning then ipso facto you should put out another because the way the river flows means we would also be flooded. We had to phone the Environment Agency at 6am to say we are flooded and we have houses which are under threat."
Cllr Brazier said it took Environment Agency officials until 12.30pm to arrive in Colney Heath where they took some pictures and measurements. By that time some of the flood water had receded.
He added: "Colney Heath is smaller but it is affected more than London Colney. We have got a lot of houses by the river in High Street and Park Lane..
More than 70 houses were threatened with flooding in Colney Heath and at least two suffered damage from water seeping into their ground floor.
London Colney Parish Council chairman, Cllr Malcolm Macmillan, said the Environment Agency had been concerned that additional water coming off the surrounding fields could get into the river and cause a surge but that likelihood had now receded.
He said the greatest threat in London Colney was to properties in Lowbell Lane and the Riverside area and at one time there had been talk of evacuation with London Colney Recreation Centre and the Caledon Club ready to take in residents if necessary.
Cllr Macmillan also reported that the parish council had stores of sandbags available which the groundsman had packed on to a trailer and brought down to the threatened properties to keep out the water.
London Colney has a message alert system, set up in conjunction with the Environment Agency when the village was last flooded eight years ago. But Cllr Macmillan admitted that it was, "a bit hit and miss" because it had not been updated to take into account people moving away and new residents moving in.