Hull Daily Mail

'THIS DRAIN HAS BEEN A PROBLEM FOR YEARS'


08:00 - 06 August 2007

Residents living close to an open water drain that burst its banks during the June 25 downpours believe widespread flooding could have been avoided with greater maintenance.

Setting Dyke drain, which runs through Wold Road, Priory Road and County Road North, burst after torrential rains hit the region, it was revealed last week.

Its breach is thought to have been largely responsible for the widespread flooding in west Hull - one of the worst-hit areas in the city.

 

Now, residents are demanding answers as to whether many streets would have escaped the floods had the drain been better maintained.

Maureen Rudd has lived in a house that backs on to Setting Dyke drain for almost 50 years.

Although her home in Coronation Road North narrowly avoided being flooded, she said residents have had an ongoing battle to have the drain cleared.

She said: "The drain is not cleared very often and we have always had an issue with it.

"Somebody did come earlier this year and dig the drain on this stretch deeper and I am glad they did because the flooding could have been so much worse. Even as it was it could not take that amount of water."

Mrs Rudd, 70, said: "A huge problem has been people dumping rubbish in the dyke.

"There are chairs, carpets, bikes. Whenever it happens we ring the council and they clear it, but two weeks later it is just back to the same old story.

"We also seem to have a problem with defining exactly who is responsible.

"It has been an ongoing battle to get any council to take responsibility for the drain as it is on the border between Hull and the East Riding.

"We really need to have the maintenance of the drain sorted."

Norman Stanford, 79, also of Coronation Road North, is still drying out his living room and kitchen after water poured in the air vents at the back of his house.

He said the maintenance of the drain was poor.

He said: "The dyke has been an ongoing problem for years.

"It was obvious it would overflow if there were heavy rains, but nothing was ever done about it.

"There used to be a time when workmen regularly came and dredged the dyke, but you just don't see that any more.

"We need answers on why things have been left to get this bad."

Pensioners Shirley and Gordon Watts's home runs in front of a section of Setting Dyke in the same street.

Electricity in their home and the surrounding streets was cut for three days after the storms.

Mr Watts said: "The water just rose and rose and the garden was under so much water. There was nothing we could do about it.

"We have been concerned about the drain in the past."

Last week, as the independent review into June's floods got under way, a panel of experts heard how the Environment Agency had at first thought drains in west Hull had not overflowed. However, it became clear Setting Dyke had burst its banks.

Giving evidence, the Environment Agency's regional environment manager Jan Davie said: "Initially we did not think there had been any overtopping.

"However after talking to residents on the ground we now know Setting Dyke did overtop and did contribute to some of the flooding in the area."

She told the review residents in the area had contacted the Environment Agency at the time saying water had flowed over the top of the drain.

Ms Davie said: "Until we heard from people near Setting Dyke we assumed it had not overtopped, but they were able to tell us they had seen water coming over the top and that has proved extremely useful to us."

h.drakakis@mailnewsmedia.co.uk