Torrential rain affecting routes across north Northamptonshire

Levels of the River Nene and River Welland are rising

By Alison Bagley
Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 4:25 pm
The road from Gretton to Rockingham. Photo by David Fursdon
The road from Gretton to Rockingham. Photo by David Fursdon

Environment Agency officials have issued flood alerts for a several stretches of rivers across the county after the Met Office forecast 24 hours of heavy rain.

Meteorologists issued a warning for up to two inches of rain and heavy winds from 6am today until 6am on Christmas Eve.

Already flood water has affected routes including the road between Rockingham and Gretton along the Welland Valley.

Officials say flooding is "expected" around Cogenhoe Mill caravan site and "possible" on the Nene near Thrapston and on the River Welland.

A spokesman said: "We have seen heavy rainfall in the Upper Welland area today, (Wednesday, December 23).

"Levels in the River Welland and its tributaries are rising and are expected to remain high from today, and for the next few days.

"We are monitoring the situation and have staff out checking for blockages and clearing weedscreens.

Flood alert warnings have been issued by the Environment Agency

"Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses, and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers, which may be flooded. We will update this message as the situation changes."

At the Middle Nene near Thrapston people have been told to "be prepared" and that "flooding is possible".

The spokesman said: "We have seen heavy rainfall in the Northamptonshire area over the last few days. Further rainfall is forecast for tomorrow, Thursday, December 24.

"As a result levels on the River Nene will remain high for the next few days. Our forecasts indicate that isolated property flooding is possible, and further flood warnings could be issued from tomorrow. We are monitoring the situation, and have staff out checking for blockages and clearing weedscreens.

The River Nene

"Please avoid using low lying footpaths near local watercourses, and plan driving routes to avoid low lying roads near rivers. We will update this message as the situation changes."

Flooding is expected to affect the Cogenhoe Mill Caravan Site.

The spokesman said: "Heavy rain has fallen across the River Nene catchment over the past few days. Further heavy rainfall is forecast for the rest of today, Wednesday, December 23.

"As a result we expect river levels to rise again, affecting the Cogenhoe Mill area for the next few days. The Northampton Washlands will be used to control water levels downstream.

"Stay safe, and aware of your local surroundings. Avoid riverside paths and please stay away from river embankments and flood water. We are monitoring the situation, and have staff in the area checking flood defences, clearing blockages, and assisting the emergency services and council."

Today's heavy rainfall has also affected the train line between Bedford and Wellingborough.

A spokesman for EMR said: "There has been heavy rain which has flooded the railway, south of Wellingborough.

"This is between Bedford and Wellingborough and is disrupting our trains on the London St Pancras / Nottingham / Sheffield route.

"At present our trains are unable to run through the area, until the water levels decrease.

"These are currently being monitored by Network Rail and teams are being sent to site to assist."

Trains running through the area between Bedford and Wellingborough are currently unable to run at present and EMR has said they are expecting the problem to be fixed in the next three hours.

The spokesman added: "As soon as the problem is fixed our priority will be to get trains running to their advertised times again.

"We expect our advertised timetable to resume on the affected routes by 18:15."

For the most up-to-date flood warnings click here.