Pumping water from flooded Doncaster villages to end

Official agencies and emergency services are ending the pumping of water out of the most flooded parts of Doncaster.

Monday, 2nd December 2019, 11:33 am

The Environment Agency, Doncaster Council, Internal Drainage Boards and South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have been pumping floodwater over the last two weeks in Fishlake, Bentley and the surrounding areas, which they say has created storage capacity in rivers, drainage systems and washlands by pumping water into the receding River Don.

At its peak, the Environment Agency and its partners had 55 pumps in operation, pumping 15 tonnes of water per second – the equivalent of filling Wembley Stadium every day.

Officials are now stopping the operation and today moved to re-assure residents that it was safe to do so.

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Environment Agency high volume water pumps in the Fishlake area

An Environment Agency spokesperson said: “In the majority of areas our pumping has returned flood storage areas, washlands and watercourses back to normal winter levels and we are beginning to return our pumps back to our storage locations for winter readiness.

“Although rain is forecast in the coming days we want to reassure communities affected by flooding that most locations have returned to normal winter conditions. Weather forecasts are being closely monitored and it is not expected that the rain will cause any significant issues, however we urge people to check their flood risk and sign up to flood warnings at www.gov.uk/flood.

“Where there are still known specific impacted locations we will continue to work together on our pumping operations.”

Temporary flood defences, such as sandbags and metal pallet barriers, which were installed along the Lower Don will remain in place as a precaution.

Environment Agency high volume water pumps in the Fishlake area

Agency operations staff are continuing to check flood defences and remove debris that could potentially pose a future flood risk, and anyone who sees a flooding or pollution incident can call a hotline on 0800 80 70 6.

Officials say his has been the wettest autumn on record in South Yorkshire. Over six months of rain has fallen within the past month. The River Don and surrounding catchments have received up to 120mm of rain over the past seven days. Up to 80mm fell in 24 hours last Thursday.

The EA believes investment in flood defences in Sheffield and Doncaster since the devastating floods of 2007 has significantly reduced the impact of these flood, having spent £44.3 million on flood defences in South Yorkshire since 2010.

A spokesman said: “Nearly 7,000 properties in Yorkshire have been protected from flooding, although this doesn’t take away the misery for those who have been flooded: it’s a horrendous experience that can have a terrible impact on people’s lives.

Environment Agency high volume water pumps in the Fishlake area

“The River Don at Sheffield peaked at midnight, Thursday 7 November, at 4.5m.This is just below the level in 2007 (4.67m), when 2,200 properties were flooded. Investment in defences and maintenance since the 2007 floods has significantly reduced the impact this time.”

“In Rotherham the Don peaked at the same time at 4.3m, just above 2007 levels (4m).

“The River Don in Doncaster peaked around lunchtime on Friday 8 November. Levels reached approx 6.2m in 2007, when 3,286 properties were flooded.

“As part of our response, we deployed 6,000 sandbags with help from the military, along with 350m of temporary flood barriers.

You can sign up to receive flood warnings by calling Floodline 0345 988 1188 or visiting https://www.gov.uk/sign-up-for-flood-warnings.