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New flood defences handed over to city

Environment Agency Board Member for Flood Defence Jeremy Walker hands a plaque to mark the completion of the Flood Alleviation Scheme to Mayor Andrew Williams. (121019M1)

Environment Agency Board Member for Flood Defence Jeremy Walker hands a plaque to mark the completion of the Flood Alleviation Scheme to Mayor Andrew Williams. (121019M1)

Ripon’s £14.4m flood alleviation scheme has officially been handed over to the city by the

Environment Agency.

The new scheme includes an upstream flood storage reservoir at Birkby Nab to help protect 548 homes and 96 businesses in Ripon, which sits atop the meeting point of rivers Skell, Laver and Ure.

The Environment Agency state that the new defences reduce the risk of flooding in any given year from one in 10 to one in 100. The flood storage area has the capacity to hold up to 1.5m cubic metres of flood water, the equivalent of 600 Olympic swimming pools.

The defence has been used three times since being completed in December, including during floods last month.

Oliver Harmar, the Environment Agency’s flood manager in North Yorkshire, said: “At the end of September, we yet again saw the devastating impacts which flooding can have on communities. These new defences will help improve the flood protection in Ripon.

“We can never completely remove the threat of flooding, so it is important for local people to understand the defences and what to do in event of a flood.”

The heavy rain of September caused flooding of local roads, and the river level of the Skell was high enough to force the closure of the ford at Fisher Green and the Alma footbridge.

Mayor of Ripon, Coun Andrew Williams, said: “I am delighted that the flood defence scheme is now in place. It couldn’t have been more tested than it was three weeks ago. It was quite clear that without the scheme, it could have been much worse. It is clearly offering much better protection. People can go to bed at night with some degree of comfort when it’s pouring down outside.”

For more information call the Environment Agency’s flood warning service on 0845 988 1188.

 

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