Cheshire West and Chester Council publishes report into 2019 flooding

9 March 2021

At its meeting on Wednesday, 17 March, Cheshire West and Chester Council's Cabinet will consider a report into the flooding events of 2019, which affected parts of the borough and left homes and businesses flooded.
The Section 19 Flood Investigation Report, which has been published today as part of the Agenda Pack for the Cabinet meeting, looks at the causes of the 2019 floods and how existing flood infrastructure and responses performed during the event. 

Importantly, it also makes a series of recommendations about what action needs to be taken by the Council and other bodies to protect these areas of the borough from future flooding. 
The flooding of 2019 took place between October 26 and 27 following persistent heavy rain and a summer/autumn which were exceptionally wet. The main areas affected were Northwich town centre, Sandy Lane in Weaverham and Lakeside Caravan Park in Winsford.  A major incident standby was declared and residents of houseboats at Northwich Marina were evacuated. In total, 23 residential and business properties were flooded. 
As the Lead Local Flood Authority, the Council has a duty to investigate flooding incidents in the borough and publish the findings. As part of the investigation, the Council has worked with the Environment Agency and United Utilities who are also Risk Management Authorities, together with other stakeholders including the Canal and River Trust. 
An interim report on the flooding was published in November 2020, which explained the background and details of the flooding.  The final report sets out a series of action points that the Council and its partners are recommended to follow, including a number of immediate actions to reduce future flood risk.
This Section 19 flood investigation report does not specifically cover the flooding events of January associated with Storm Cristoph, which brought further devastation to Northwich and many other parts of the borough. That event will be the subject of separate reports but it does provide information on actions taken in Northwich since the October 2019 flooding event together with the Council’s proposed future approach to borough-wide flood risk management and resilience.
In the latest incident, the Council spent more than £500,000 on the response to the flooding and has committed a further £250,000 to invest in measures to protect properties from future floods. The recommendations being made to Cabinet also include the establishment of a Flood Risk Action Group to oversee the earliest positive and effective delivery of actions that reduce flood risk.
Members of Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve the publication of the report and endorse the recommended action points.

Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Highways and Strategic Transport, Cllr Karen Shore, said: “We know that people have suffered and continue to suffer as a result of the flooding in our borough and we are determined to do all we can to help. 

“We are working with other agencies to develop a way forward for the borough and the findings of this report will help us to do this promptly. We are also working closely with our communities to learn the lessons from all flooding events in our borough and take the necessary steps to reduce the risk to our borough from future flooding.”

You can read the full Section 19 Flood Investigation Report on the 2019 flooding here:

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