Again FFS!

Yet again, after a few hours heavy rain, Thurrock suffered floods on the evening of Wednesday 20.10. Our neighbourhood in Stanford-le-Hope was hit by flooding. This time, as well as the park opposite our house being inundated, as you can see from the above image, the road right outside was also flooded. We were outside for almost two hours sweeping floodwater away from the outside of our house. Thankfully, the neighbours were out with their brooms – a welcome bit of mutual aid and solidarity in action:) Praise where praise is due, one of the local ward councillors was out for a good few hours checking up on residents and helping out where he could.

This is how Thurrock Nub News covered the situation:

Rising waters cause residents concern after severe weather warning
Waters recede but questions remain after night of flooding following rainstorm

Way back in January, Thurrock was hit by flooding. After the floodwaters receded, Thurrock Council said they would launch an investigation and produce a report with recommendations as to how future floods can either be avoided or, if they happen dealt with.

These are some posts we put up earlier this year about the flooding and the subsequent ‘investigation’ by Thurrock Council:

Not the holistic look at the January floods in Thurrock that we were hoping for – July 13, 2021
Will we ever get answers? – March 10, 2021
After the flood…the questions… – January 16, 2021

In our immediate neighbourhood, what was different this time was the water coming up and flooding the road. That hasn’t happened for at least twenty five years! Our initial view is that this could well be down to poorly maintained road drains. The park opposite and the road running alongside it were, as has happened before after prolonged heavy rain, inundated.

So, yet again, we need answers as to why what happened did happen. This time around, we hope the answers are a bit more revealing than ‘it rained a lot’. Here’s a chart with rainfall levels for Chelmer Village, Essex going back to 2013 and so far, 2021 rainfall levels are a bit below the average. As Chelmer Village is only about fifteen or so miles away from us, these statistics more or less apply to where we are down in Stanford-le-Hope. Okay, the figure may be below average but one thing we have noticed over the last few years is that when it does rain, it is more intense which may well be an issue as existing drainage systems are simply unable to cope with this type of rainfall.

As we’ve written before, there’s no single answer as to why we keep getting flooded. There are a whole range of contributory factors from the intensity of the rain, through over-development and drainage systems not being upgraded to cope, and last but but no means least, piss poor maintenance of the road drains. What also needs to be taken into consideration is what happens at the headwaters of the streams that flow into and through Thurrock.

A holistic overview that considers all the contributory factors is definitely needed. The thing about such an overview is that it will inevitably raise some difficult questions about planning policy, particularly why building developments on low lying, flood prone sites, are still allowed to go ahead. We’ll be doing what we can to ensure that this time round, we get some proper answers…

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