Councillor questions flood prevention measures in Dorchester

Dorset Echo: DELUGE: Flooding around north Dorchester DELUGE: Flooding around north Dorchester

A COUNCILLOR has questioned why no ‘visible’ measures have been put in place nearly two years on from flooding in Dorchester.

Members of Dorchester Town Council’s planning and environment committee heard an update from Dorset County Council and the Environment Agency on actions taken since 13 properties were flooded in the town in the summer of 2012.

The flooding mainly affected properties along the River Frome in areas such as Mill Street, London Road and River Crescent.

Steve Malpass from the Environment Agency told councillors that extensive modelling work had taken place along the River Frome and a final report would be produced in May.

He added that some routine maintenance had also been carried out around the Dorchester catchment area. Mr Malpass said the Environment Agency would now work with the county council to come up with workable long term solutions for the river.

He added that the local community could also help by getting involved in flood warden and flood mitigation schemes.

He said: “Flood wardens and flood plans are very useful for any community that is affected.”

Flood risk manager for Dorset County Council, Brian Richards, said he would consider the Environment Agency report with a view to finding the best way forward.

He said: “There are some real concerns both for the community and for officers as well.”

Mr Richards told the committee the reason Dorchester was not badly affected in terms of flooding during the recent severe winter weather was because it was a ‘different type of event’ and could not be attributed to any flood prevention measures that had been put in place.

He said: “The rainfall was different this time. It was a different type of event and we didn’t get the same sort of flooding at the bottom of town.”

Mr Richards added: “If we get the same intensity we got on that one evening in July the same thing can happen again.”

Cllr Richard Biggs asked why nothing had been done to visibly protect those places that were particularly prone to flooding.

He said: “There are simple measures that can be visibly seen. It is frustrating and I imagine a concern for residents living there.

“It must be terrible every time we get heavy rain.”

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