Friday, 17 June 2016

Big Wet Worcester Park

Unless they were living in a cardboard box under the stairs, it's doubtful anyone will have missed the downpour this evening, just in time for rush hour.

Less than a month after the last great flood which saw a car floating under the railway bridge on the other side of Sutton in Wallington (and when in fact the road under the bridge here was closed for a time), Worcester Park was subject to yet more flooding.

One car did get stuck and a few of us joined in to help push the car up out of the main body of water.

Questions have been raised about why the roads have been able to flood so easily. It has been suggested that drains are not being adequately cleaned however the blog understand that most drains are cleaned regularly. Apparently with sudden large floods like this, all the litter carried away with the sudden surge of water blocks them up, causing the flash floods.

Unfortunately Central Road/Malden Road wasn't the only area effected. Browning Avenue was also flooded between Washington Road and Caldbeck Avenue.

This hadn't just flooded the road but had also flooded homes on the north side of the road. For them this was also the second time in a month they had been flooded.

The fire brigade was there mainly to help people who needed to get out of their homes. They had also cordoned off the road however it had dropped to a point where is was safe enough to drive through and local residents were helping cars get through.

I asked one local girl how deep it was and, being in wellington boots, she promptly waded straight in to show me.

A little later a second fire engine arrived, although this one looked to be more of a supplies truck. By then the water in the road at least, had subsided substantially. I hope the flooded homes were not effected too badly.

I was also interested to see how much the flood plain (flood alleviation scheme) in Green Lane had filled up. This was designed to take any overflow from the Beverley Brook to stop the houses further down from flooding (although there have still been problems reported there since).

The Beverley was in full flow and the flood plain was clearly soaked but not yet flooded - which is really exactly what is supposed to happen - so it's doing its job properly there. Perhaps we need something to help in Browning avenue too.

Update (an hour or so later)

A blog reader has emailed me with the following information:
"Another factor with this flood and the one in Wallington is that when these bridges were put over the roads in the mid 19th century they only had to make the embankment high enough to let a fully loaded haywain under the bridge. Come the early 20th Century and taller vehicles they had to lower the roads under the bridges by about a metre, so naturally they are the point likely to flood. Also the drains in the UK are designed to deal with what was the typical rainfall. In Singapore where I was born and spent my early years, the drain gutters are a metre wide feeding into much larger pipes (or so I was told by my Godfather who was Clerk of Works for the Island), to cope with the 5 o'clock thunderstorm, which makes a British one look like a light shower. But with global warming perhaps all that infrastructure will need uprating."
This all makes sense and brings to mind something Cllr Richard Marston (who was also at the scene) mentioned in that a few decades ago there was far less room under the bridge and only single decker busses and special low double decker ones could get under. The road was lowered to allow the additional taller traffic.

Update (18th June)

I've had an email from Cllr Marston to say he has reported the flooding problems encountered yesterday at the station, Hazelmere Gardens and Browning Avenue.