After the rains
SEVERE weather and flood warnings were issued yesterday as heavy rain continued to drench the city.
An emergency road closure was set up and a weekend charity event cancelled as water levels along the River Nene reached a peak.
But the downpours look set to ease over the next couple of days, with experts predicting dry weather with sunny spells on Bank Holiday Monday.
The Environment Agency (EA) issued a flood warning for North Bank Road alongside the River Nene, to the east of Peterborough and west of the Dog-in-a-doublet sluice, yesterday morning.
It said flooding was expected at high tide from 6pm, and as a result Peterborough City Council put in place an emergency road closure from 2pm.
A council spokesman said: “Due to the consistent rain and rising water levels we decided our best option was to close the road because of the risk of it flooding.”
He said the closure would remain in place until this evening at least and could be extended into the weekend depending on advice from the EA.
The road is closed from Storeys Bar Road to the Dog-in-a-doublet, with traffic diverted via Fengate, Boongate, Frank Perkins Parkway, Stanground Bypass, A605, Orchard Street, Whittlesey and East Delph and also via the B1040, A47 and A1139.
Due to the flooding risk, EA officers were also carrying out flood prevention work at Stanground Sluice yesterday, channelling water into Morton’s Leam and into the Nene Washes.
The EA has also issued flood alerts, where flooding is possible, for the River Nene near Wansford, Peterborough and the Ouse Washes at Welney.
Elsewhere in the city, Whittlesey Road in Stanground was being badly affected by surface
(METP-03-05-12AS062) water as a result of the rain, and underpasses in Lincoln Road and Paston were flooded.
The Met Office issued a severe weather warning for Peterborough yesterday. A spokesman said: “Totals of 20mm to 40mm of rain are likely in places, falling on already saturated ground. The public are advised to be aware of the risk of some disruption from surface water flooding.”
Meanwhile, the Mayor of Peterborough’s charity Duck Race was cancelled following advice from the EA that river levels were too high for it to go ahead.
Plastic ducks were due to be released from Town Bridge in Peterborough at 3pm tomorrow for the race which was to raise cash for Mayor of Peterborough Cllr Paula Thacker’s chosen charities – Kidney Research UK and the Royal British Legion’s Women’s Section. The event is expected to be rescheduled, although a date has yet to be fixed.
Despite the continued deluge, the region is still officially in a drought and a hosepipe ban remains in force.
A spokesman for Anglian Water urged residents to continue saving water.
He said: “Clearly, rivers do rise in times of heavy rain but our issue is that the ground water is low and that’s where the majority of our water comes from.
“We are pleased it has rained and we are making the most of it by taking as much water out of the rivers as possible. But three wet weeks doesn’t make up for two dry years.”
flood gates: The Environment Agency’s John Gudjin opening the Stanground Sluice at Morton’s Leam allowing the Washes to flood all the way up to Ring’s End. Picture: ALAN STORER.