Mobile pumps and flood bags among suggested measures to ease flooding woes

Mobile pumps, sand bagging a brook and innovative flood bags could be measures to help save a community from another disaster.

The most recent Coleham floods in January this year. Picture: Owain Betts
The most recent Coleham floods in January this year. Picture: Owain Betts

Residents from Coleham in Shrewsbury have suggested a range of measures and a civic leader has tabled an emergency motion as demands to save the area from future floods gathers momentum.

Coleham has been battered by horrendous weather disasters three times in less than 12 months, and people are hoping to escape this flood season without further damage.

They are keen to see a number of suggestions they have made brought into action before next winter to give them a fighting chance if floods return.

Among the short term ideas raised by the Belle Vue and Coleham Community Action Group are sand bagging the Rea Brook to stop more water flowing into the area, getting industrial mobile pumps on the scene and flood bags - which are considered quicker, easier to deploy and more effective than ordinary sand bags.

Belle Vue councillor Kate Halliday, who has supported residents and business owners through the most recent floods, tabled an emergency motion at a recent Shrewsbury Town Council meeting to lobby for more support in the short to medium term.

Millions of pounds of government money has been ring fenced for projects to be undertaken up and down the River Severn from north Wales to the Bristol Channel, but the worst-hit communities are looking for help now. An Environment Agency flood report is expected soon.

Councillor Halliday said: "Nothing really changed from last year so what's going to stop it happening again?

"Thankfully Abbey doesn't flood any more and neither does Frankwell. But what about Coleham? A lot of businesses had barely finished repairs from last year.

"We've got to hope we can get through this flood season without it happening again, but it's not over yet."

Councillor Halliday said she was appreciative of Shropshire Council's efforts to get the road closed off quickly and assistance to stop cars driving through the water. She also paid tribute to the businesses in the area for bouncing back quickly in the face of a difficult situation.

After she raised the motion, discussions are now ongoing with Shropshire Council over what to do next.

"We've asked for a few different things in the short term," added Councillor Halliday.

"These shops keep flooding. Businesses are struggling with the pandemic enough as it is, without the flooding on top. But it was good to see a lot of those that can open be back the day after the water was gone."

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