UK: Braunton Flood Defence Program About to Begin
The Environment Agency will start work next week on a £100,000 scheme to boost flood protection in Braunton.
The North Devon village suffered serious flooding in December 2012 after torrential rain caused the River Caen to over-top flooding more than 60 local homes and businesses. The flooding occurred six months after the official opening of a new flood defence scheme.
‘We built a scheme offering protection for a 1:100 year event. Amazingly, even this wasn’t enough to contain the exceptionally high flows in the River Caen in 2012. Put simply – the sheer volume of water coming down the river was more than our scheme was designed to take,’ explained Jim Faux for the Environment Agency.
The December 2012 floods resulted from some of the highest flows ever recorded in the River Caen. The last time flows were as high was in 1894. It is estimated as many as 200 properties in Braunton would have flooded if the new scheme hadn’t been in place.
Over the next four weeks the Agency will be upgrading Braunton’s flood defences through a series of improvements. The main work will take place in the Memorial Gardens where approximately 100 metres of embankment will be raised.
Various sections of riverside walls will also be raised downstream of the Memorial Gardens to keep as much water as possible within the river channel and provide the people of Braunton with the best available flood protection.
An important component of the existing scheme is a culvert around Hordens Bridge that helps convey water downstream during high flows. ‘It performed well during 2012 and should continue to help reduce the risk of flooding in the future along with the latest improvements we’re making to the Braunton scheme,’ said Jim Faux.
Work on the town’s flood scheme will start on September 16 and should be completed by the end of October.
Press Release, September 10, 2013