EA say Royal Borough flooding was not 'major' event

EA say Royal Borough flooding was not 'major' event

Philip Dewey

EA say Royal Borough flooding was not 'major' event
Flood warden Gillie Bolton on Ham Island in Old Windsor

The Environment Agency (EA) has been criticised by members of the Royal Borough's flood group for saying recent flooding was 'not a major event'.

A heated meeting, held on Thursday, left one member in tears after the EA was unable to answer her questions.

The agency stated that 409mm of rain had fallen in the borough since December 13 and 56 per cent of the annual rainfall had fallen in 66 days, the largest figure since records began.

Figures for reported properties flooded internally included 27 in Wraysbury, 25 in Old Windsor, 17 in Datchet, 10 in Eton and Eton Wick, one in Bisham and two gardens in Cookham.

Jeanne Capey, of the EA, said: "Although a lot of people were affected by the floods, it wasn't that big of a flood and February was not considered as a major flood event."

This was disputed by members of the group, who said they were unaware until recently that flooding had to be reported to the EA.

Gillie Bolton, flood warden of Ham Island, who was forced to leave her house due to flooding, said: "People have been living on Ham Island for 50 or 60 years and the flooding was bigger than ever before. It was a big event for them I can assure you."

The performance of the Jubilee River was also questioned when Cllr Ewan Larcombe, of Datchet Parish Council, said maintenance work on the river created a wave which impacted on downstream villages.

The EA disputed this and said an independent investigation would be needed to prove Cllr Larcombe's claims.

They were unable to answer Mrs Bolton’s questions about why the river levels rose when work was being carried out, which left her in tears.

Chairman of the flood group Cllr Jesse Grey (Con, Datchet) said: "Let's give the EA time to get their figures and we can take them to task, but we're not going to solve anything tonight."

The meeting took place at Maidenhead Town Hall.

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