River Dearne reached highest ever level in Barnsley during this month's floods
The River Dearne reached its highest recorded level at one location in Barnsley during November’s floods – eclipsing those of 2007 – but flood defences have been credited with saving the town from a worse impact.
Barnsley Council says the River Dearne at Grange Lane reached 3.83 metres in depth, higher than any other period on record, with water reaching 2.33 metres at Darton.
This was the highest measure since the catastrophic floods of 2007.
Council leader Sir Steve Houghton praised the work of the emergency services and council staff, along with councillors and volunteers, some of whom worked three shifts with little sleep to help those affected by the floods.
He said: “Our staff did a fantastic job, as did many members. They deserve credit for all they did...What was a difficult situation was prevented from being even worse.”
“The good news is the flooding was not as bad as 12 years ago, but it was still bad enough for the people affected,” he said.
Sir Steve added that government support would be needed in order to for work to be carried out to improve the situation.
While some Barnsley communities were affected by flooding, the impact was much less severe than that experienced 12 years ago.
This is believed to be as a result of work done to improve defences in the meantime.
Now the council is looking again at what happened in the latest floods to establish what can be done to further guard against extreme rainfall in the future.
In a meeting, Councillor Robert Barnard questioned whether dredging rivers, which is a historic solution that has been used for centuries, would be an effective solution.
Coun Chris Lamb, a member of the council Cabinet with responsibility for such work, said work would be done in the weeks and months ahead to establish the causes for Barnsley’s flooding problems and to work out what can be done to further reduce the risk of repetition.
Silt removal work has been done on the River Dove recently at locations including Worsbrough, Wombwell and Darfield, a council meeting was told.
After the 2007 floods the council secured £1.2m to help increase the town’s resilience.