Flooding fears as river rises in Wheathampstead

THE Environment Agency (EA) was called to clear an eight-foot-high tree that was blocking the River Lea in Wheathampstead yesterday (Monday) amid fears it would cause flooding to local businesses.

Goldsmith Rachel Jeffrey, owner of jewellery shop Rachel Jeffrey Ltd at Mill Walk, said the tree fell into the river in front of the shop’s work shop after heavy rain.

The water course runs beneath the shop and has been “rising higher and higher”.

There were fears the tree would block the water flow and the rising river would flood the business.

Rachel said the EA responded very quickly after being alerted to the potential problem and removed the tree promptly.

She added that the river level was well over one foot higher than normal, and that “it sounds like a waterfall under our workshop”.

She said: “We are trying to keep calm and carry on. We do have a flood plan, but we haven’t received a flood alert yet from the EA.”

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The agency today (Tuesday) removed the flood alert for the upper River Colne and Radlett Brook at Colney Heath, London Colney, Borehamwood and Radlett.

The alert was issued on Saturday as there were fears heavy showers would result in the river breaching its banks.

St Albans district Councillor for Colney Heath Chris Brazier said the river has continued to rise today, but “houses are not under threat”.

He said he was pleased the forecast was for improved weather for the remainder of the week.