Flood Risk Precautions Near Crookham Village Prove Successful So Far
By Fact0tem | Wednesday, March 03, 2010, 10:32
Precautionary measures taken by Hampshire County Council over the weekend to prevent the flooding of a section of the Basingstoke Canal near Fleet have so far proved successful.
A section of the Basingstoke Canal near Crookham Village
Following forecasts of heavy rain in the area last week, the council issued a press release on February 27th outlining the need for 'precautionary measures' against possible flooding near Crookham village. 'The deterioration of a section of the West Hart Embankment', within the two mile stretch of the canal including Crookham, was identified as being at risk of flooding in the event of a sustained downpour.
In preparation, a number of rapid measures have been taken, with public footpaths in the nearby area being declared off-limits and the canal being temporarily closed in order to lower its waters. Guidelines and advice has been issued to local residents, many of whom received visits from Community Safety Officers on Saturday.
According to the press release: 'Steps are being taken to minimise the potential impact of prolonged rainfall in this section of the canal and embankment prior to the implementation of a longer-term solution.' Reparation and maintenance of the defences in question is currently scheduled for later in the year.
As of Monday, the council has been carrying out further work to drain the prone section of the canal, with a view to further reducing risk. At the time of writing, it appears that these measures have been largely successful.
Over the weekend, HCC countryside rangers were posted overnight to keep watch over the state of the canal. The council's latest press release, issued on March 1st, praised the work of these individuals. 'With flood warnings in place throughout England, they spent the night trudging through ditches and over barbed wire in the dark at hourly intervals so they could monitor water levels,' stated the council.
Councillor Ken Thornber issued the following statement:
"We realise the urgent actions we had to take to manage and prevent flooding and damage - in view of the forecasts and localised conditions - will have had a detrimental effect on the navigable, commercial and recreational use of the Canal, but must act within our duty of care to the whole community. I am very grateful to everyone who played their part and to the local community for their understanding and patience in very difficult circumstances."