Flood hit properties still recovering, council hears
More than two months after storms Ciara and Dennis, some Ironbridge residents still can’t move back into their flood-hit homes, their councillor has said.
The tropical cyclones brought high wind and heavy rain in early February, causing the River Severn to overwhelm parts of Shrewsbury and the Ironbridge Gorge.
Telford and Wrekin councillor Carolyn Healy, who represents the Ironbridge Gorge, said funding is still available from some local groups for clean-up and repair work, but the coronavirus outbreak has slowed the process.
In her report to The Gorge Parish Council, she said local authority engineers had started mapping properties in the area and assessing the order they will flood if a similar disaster strikes.
Councillor Healy, who is also the cabinet member responsible for climate change, the historic and natural environment and tourism, said: “It feels like a long time ago but there are still some businesses who have not been able to complete repairs from the flooding, and some residents who have not been able to go home.
“The Ironbridge Lions and Rotary Club still have funding available to help with repairs once those are able to be carried out safely.
“The council is still waiting for the details of the Flood Resilience Fund which will support residents and businesses to access and support with technical advice.
“Prior to the coronavirus lockdown, the council’s engineering team had begun to map threshold levels of properties that flooded so future response plans can be better tailored and we have a much clearer understanding of the order in which properties flood and the support needed.”
Councillor Healy’s report, which was accepted by the parish council in a meeting held by video link, also included updates on pothole repairs and road surfacing, street cleaning, grounds maintenance and the ongoing permanent lighting scheme for the Iron Bridge.
She said the planned lights had been “partially installed” and will be completed once the coronavirus lockdown is lifted.
“Once we are able to, we would like to hold a switch-on event, but that very much depends on any ongoing restrictions around public gatherings,” she said.
Regarding COVID-19 and the regulations brought in to limit its spread, she wrote: “There have been some reports of businesses that should be closed continuing to trade.
“In The Gorge this is mainly holiday cottages, although some of these are being let to key workers so they can reduce risk to their families.”
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