Flooding: Sheffield Council says defences have worked

Sheffield Council said its multi-million pound flood defences have held up despite the city being battered by severe storms since last week.

Monday, 21st February 2022, 5:34 pm
Updated Monday, 21st February 2022, 5:34 pm
Coronation Park in Oughtibridge flooded on Sunday
Coronation Park in Oughtibridge flooded on Sunday

Storms Eunice, Dudley and Franklin have all hit the city over recent days – causing serious flooding in some parts and widespread travel disruption.

In the council’s latest update today, it said its flood defences – built since the devastating disasters of 2007 and 2019 – have worked.

It said river levels had dropped today and it was waiting for the Environment Agency to confirm that it can open the floodgates after checks are carried out on adjoining paths for damage.

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Other checks for structural damage were also being carried out today.

A crack in the walls on Broadfield Road was found, the Environment Agency put a temporary fix on the damage and will repair it when it is safe to do so.

Disruption

People were warned not to travel today as trains, trams and road traffic continued to be disrupted.

Amey has stopped all non-essential work while it focuses on recovery jobs, meaning services such as emptying litter bins were suspended until further notice.

Councillor Shaffaq Mohammed, leader of Sheffield Liberal Democrats, said he was stuck in the floods yesterday and more still needed to be done to protect the city going forwards.

He said: “Clearly there have been areas that have flooded, some might always happen naturally but we can always look at making things better.

“We need more collaborative working…It’s in all local authorities’ interests. The flood water has no barriers - it doesn’t stop at the Sheffield / Rotherham border, neither does it stop anywhere else. Therefore we have got to work together on this and look at how we can hold back the water and clear some of the rivers and make sure the gullies and drains are cleared.”

How is the council defending against flooding?

The council is working with the Environment Agency on improving flood protection through building defences, storing flood water in open spaces and using natural flood management measures in higher ground above the city.

The authority has registered six flood schemes valued at £120 million on the government’s National Flood Investment Programme.

Of those, one has been built – new flood defences in the Lower Don Valley which cost around £20 million.

The national programme is expected to provide some funding for new schemes but not all.

Sheffield Council set a timescale to 2028 to deliver its projects, which it said will give it time to secure further investment and deliver the schemes in phases.

The authority, along with other regional leaders, recently announced the Connected by Water flood action plan that will cover the whole River Don catchment area.