Floods in Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Raunds and Titchmarsh trigger official investigation

The floods on Sunday, August 16, caused extensive damage

An official flood investigation into a deluge that devastated about 80 homes, businesses, shops, offices, a museum and a school has been launched.

Torrential weather hit north Northamptonshire on Sunday, August 16, at around 4pm with one Wellingborough weather-watcher measuring a month's rain falling in just one hour.

Clusters of residents and business owners in Corby, Kettering, Wellingborough, Raunds and Titchmarsh reported to the Northamptonshire County Council that they had interior flooding, triggering the official investigation.

Cllr Jason Smithers, county council cabinet member for highways and place, said: “Northamptonshire County Council has been working closely with flood risk partners to understand and respond to the impact of the significant flooding experienced across parts of the county on August 16.

“It is estimated that around 80 properties were flooded internally, including businesses, homes, schools and other community buildings.

"The majority of impacts were felt in the north and east of the county, covering areas such as Wellingborough, Kettering, Raunds and Corby.

All Saint's Primary School's playground

"These were very localised severe flooding events, similar in nature to those experienced by Northampton over the bank holiday of May 2018.

"Initial estimates from a rain gauge in Wellingborough indicates around 51.8mm of rain fell over a 24-hour period, with the majority falling over a few hours on Sunday.

"This would be near the average monthly rainfall expected for the whole of August.

"As per the council’s duty as Lead Local Flood Authority, there is a requirement to investigate flooding incidents that meet local thresholds.

The home of Helen Thorne in Raunds

· Flooding has affected critical infrastructure for a period in excess of three hours from the onset of flooding;

· Internal flooding of a building has been experienced on more than one occasion in the last five years; or

· Internal flooding of five buildings in close proximity has been experienced during one single flood incident.

“Having assessed the flood reports that have been received by the council, at present seven areas will be covered by flood investigations, these include four locations across Wellingborough, one in Corby, one in Kettering and one in Titchmarsh.

Glenbank, off Midland Road, Wellingborough

"The council will be working with those affected and flood risk partners to undertake these investigations, which will aim to be published on the Flood Toolkit website within six months.

“Those areas that aren’t covered by an investigation but were reported to the council, will still be provided a bespoke response and advice.

"Flood risk partners are also currently working at a number of locations that flooded to help support and reduce flood risk to properties.

“It is too early to talk of the main causes for each of these areas but similarly to May 2018 in Northampton, this was a significant amount of rainfall in a very short space of time which overwhelmed local drainage capacity.”

David Smith Associates (DSA), an independent specialist engineering and construction company in the Northampton area, has been contracted by the council to undertake the investigations.

The investigation will identify and explain the likely cause or causes of flooding; identify which authorities, communities and individuals have relevant flood risk management powers and responsibilities; provide recommendations for each of those authorities, communities and individuals; and outline whether those authorities, communities or individuals have or will exercise their powers or responsibilities in response to the flooding incident.

Northampton Road, Kettering

However, the investigation will not resolve the flooding issues or provide designed solutions; force Risk Management Authorities - The Environment Agency, the LLFA, the Borough or District Council for the area, the relevant water company and highways authorities - to undertake any of the recommended actions; investigate incidents of structural dampness or where basements are affected by groundwater entering through cracks in the basement walls or floors; and not investigate an incident if it is reported after nine months of the flood event occurring.

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