People told they can return to Billing Aquadrome this morning

PEOPLE have been told they can return to Billing Aquadrome this morning.

The Environment Agency said the flood warning at the site had been reduced to a flood alert as rain last night (Wednesday) was heavy but not as much as expected.

As a result, the Environment Agency has been able to work through the night to manage the flow of water through the Nene river system, reducing the risk of flooding.

The Cogenhoe Mill site remains closed but accommodation has been made available at Billing for people from the site if necessary.

A flood warning will remain for Cogenhoe Caravan Park until further notice. The park itself is still currently flooded and this needs to subside before residents are allowed back.

Norman Robinson, Environment Agency manager, said: “We would like to thank everybody for their help and patience through this difficult time. We have had 300 per cent of the average rainfall across April and although there is a lot of water about on fields and roads, there has been limited flooding of properties.

“We recognise that the evacuation of the caravan parks at Cogenhoe and Billing has been a stressful time and we would especially like to thank the occupants and park management for their continued support. We work hard with the emergency services, county and borough authorities and others to ensure that people can stay safe.

“The emergency response will now be stood down and the rest centre will close. A special thank you needs to go to those who were at the centre at Lings Forum for their commitment and patience across this difficult period.” 

Assistant Chief Constable Martin Jelley from Northamptonshire Police, who led the emergency response, said: “I would like to thank the public for their understanding and cooperation during the period we have had the flood risk and evacuation in place. I would also like to express my gratitude towards the Environment Agency and partners who have pulled together to ensure the safety of the Northamptonshire public.”

The forecast is drier for the weekend, but any further rain will cause rivers to react quickly.

The Environment Agency will continue to monitor the situation across the country closely.

Rivers are flowing fast and there is a lot of standing water about.