First Stage of Peterborough Flood Defence Scheme Begins (UK)

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First Stage of Peterborough Flood Defence Scheme Begins

The first stage of a multi-million pound flood defence scheme to improve the safety of an important flood storage reservoir dam at Whittlesey has started.

The £26 million Environment Agency lead project will strengthen the dam of the flood storage reservoir downstream of Peterborough by reshaping it and placing extra material at the base of the bank. 16km of the South Barrier Bank, which forms the reservoir dam between Stanground and Ring’s End, will be improved to reduce the risk of a breach during a flood.

The flood storage reservoir protects hundreds of properties, roads, railways and more than 8000 hectares of farmland in the fenland area to the south east of Peterborough.

Guy Szomi, Environment Agency Engineer, said: “We use Whittlesey Washes to store flood water when tides and river flows are high. The Washes play an important part in helping to reduce the risk of flooding and our work will further reduce the risk to people and property.

“But while the flood storage reservoir is an effective way of reducing flood risk, no type of defence can remove the risk entirely.”

Whittlesey Washes can be used to temporarily store the equivalent of 14,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools of flood water.

The Whittlesey project will take place over four years and has been split into phases. The first phase of works is taking place between Ring’s End (Guyhirn) and Eldernell (Coates). The first phase of flood bank strengthening has begun and will end in autumn 2014.

Works between Eldernell and Stanground are due to start in 2014. The majority of the work will take place in the summer and early autumn to avoid disturbing internationally-important breeding and over-wintering bird populations on the Nene Washes.

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Press Release, August 19, 2013

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