Council promises to help Ironbridge through flooding as Wharfage work nears completion

Work to repair the Wharfage in Ironbridge and help improve flooding defences should be completed within weeks, the council has said.

Ironbridge was battered by flooding in early 2020
Ironbridge was battered by flooding in early 2020

It is hoped the work will help ready the riverside street for the coming winter and increased water levels.

Telford and Wrekin Council highways and engineering chief Adam Brookes also said sandbags could be delivered to at-risk homes and businesses before flooding strikes, after a “detailed assessment” mapped which properties are affected by different river levels.

Parts of the Ironbridge Gorge were inundated by flooding from the rising River Severn as a result of storms Ciara, Dennis and Christoph in early 2020 and 2021.

Mr Brookes said that the authority had worked to “improve our understanding of properties and infrastructure affected at certain river levels”.

Targeted steps, like pre-emptive road closures and “safe and well calls”, can be taken based on forecasts, he added.

In his report for the Environment Scrutiny Committee, he said: “Following the River Severn Flooding in the Ironbridge Gorge during February 2020, the council has undertaken a detailed assessment to improve our understanding of properties and infrastructure affected at certain river levels.

“This has enabled a robust support plan to be developed during the response phase where the council can proactively provide support to the community when river levels result in their properties being at risk.

“This plan includes delivering sandbags in advance of properties being impacted, closing roads prior to them being flooded and also enabling safe and well calls to be made throughout.”

Mr Brookes said the review has included compiling contact information for at-risk properties “allowing targeted recovery support to be offered to those affected”.

“It is a priority for the council to ensure the community feel supported after a flooding event where they continue to be impacted long after the flooding incident,” he added.

Surveys after the January 2021 Ironbridge Gorge flooding showed “93 per cent of respondents said they felt the council responded in a timely manner and 92 per cent indicated they felt supported by the council before, during and after”, he adds.

Mr Brookes noted that the Severn reached “record levels” in February 2020, moving the flood barriers in Ironbridge.

“The Environment Agency has undertaken a detailed review of the barrier movement,” he says.

“Work is currently underway to resurface the Wharfage to ensure the temporary demountable flood barriers remain suitable.

“Resurfacing will be completed by mid-October in readiness for the 2021-22 winter flood season.”

The committee will discuss his report when it meets on Wednesday, October 6.

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