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The Jubilee River story - The Flood Prevention Society
The Flood Prevention Society is based in North Wales - www.floodpreventionsociety.org.uk
Carl Butler - 2004
THE Environment Agency was yesterday accused of causing flood misery.
As water poured into homes and farms near Rossett, North Wales for the fourth time in less than four years, there were calls for the Agency to tackle problems at Chester Weir, slightly upstream from the Old Dee Bridge (grid reference SJ407658). The weir and the associated salmon leap are recognised as a Grade I listed building.
But the Environment Agency says Chester Weir has no influence on the flooding and, without the sluice gates at Bala, flooding would be even worse in the lower reaches of the Dee.
Despite only moderate rainfall in the week, hundreds of people living in properties on the flood plain at Allmere Ferry and Trevalyn areas of Rossett found flood water in their homes in the early hours of yesterday.
Many residents keep boats, simply to cope with flooding incidents which are an increasing problem.
Retired couple Harry and Doreen Smith suffered badly in the November 2000 floods. The entire downstairs of their detached home had to be re-plastered and new floors laid. Mrs Smith, who has lived in the area for over 30 years, said: ``We believed this time that the water would not come into the houses. The Environment Agency told my husband earlier in the week that someone had been scaremongering, but we knew by the speed of the river that it was coming up.
``The rain has not been that bad, levels were dropping, but we heard they released water from Bala twice yesterday causing sudden surges.
``Maintenance of the river is very poor, plus the flood water is not getting away at Chester. We have campaigned for a long time for them to open the floodgates at the Chester Weir.
``Better control of the reservoirs, modification of the Chester Weir and better maintenance of the River Dee would solve the problem.''
Frank Williams , 73, also
blames the Dee. He said: ``They have cleaned the River Alyn
out quite a bit and we don't get much trouble from that but it's the
River Dee which is the problem.
``They let water out at Bala because they are obviously frightened of flooding around Bala and Corwen, we understand that. But they don't maintain the Dee much and it cannot cope with the surges.''
Len Dulson, secretary of the River Dee Flood Prevention Society, said: ``It's about time people realised what is going on. ``All these floods are avoidable. They let water out at Bala and it cannot get past the Weir and the river Dee has not been cleaned out.''
A spokesman for the Warrington-based Environment Agency said: ``We really feel for the people in this area, but they are living on a flood plain.
``They have been told that the sluice gates at Bala are there to help and assist the situation down on the Dee. I know it's very difficult for them to believe anyone at the moment.''
He said the Agency hoped to take local people to visit the Bala site a week on Sunday. He said residents from Bangor-on-Dee who had made the trip came away convinced that the sluice gates at Bala were actually helping prevent flooding.
The Agency also had money this year to carry out localised anti-flood measures around individual properties.
Environment Agency - River Dee Catchment Flood Management Plan - January 2010 (1.5Mb.pdf)
Steart - and Ian Liddell-Grainger
Conclusions and 'What have I learned?'